Quincy, MA – Wessling Architects has announced the completion of a new medical device manufacturing plant in Coyol, Costa Rica. Dedicated on June 9th, 2009 the project was a collaboration between Wessling Architects (WA), Vanderweil Engineers (RGV), Boston Industrial Consulting (BIC), Turner, and Boston Scientific (BSCI). The scope of the project included the re-programming, design, and interior build out of an existing 342,000 s/f industrial building to create a “Center of Manufacturing Excellence”.
The existing building was designed by the Costa Rican architectural firm of Ossenbach Pendones & Bonilla (OPB). During construction of the building’s shell and core WA provided architectural peer review services on behalf of BSCI. As the building took shape BSCI decided to change the type of manufacturing that would be conducted there. This meant that the interior of the building and how it functioned would need to be re-programmed and re-designed.
The building’s programming and schematic design was started in late 2006 and continued through 2007. During this time the basic manufacturing clean room layouts, their direct support spaces, building circulation, and the integration of employee support spaces were completed. These areas were of primary concern to BSCI for two reasons. It was critical that the plant be certified, on-line, and producing product by a specific date. The facility had to be designed with growth potential in mind to meet the future anticipated expansion of BSCI’s operations.
Design development and the production of construction documents came next. During design development key decisions were made to use a pre-fabricated modular clean room system, and a demountable office wall/cubicle system to maximize the flexibility of the building’s interior spaces. The final planning of the employee support spaces and services (restrooms, locker rooms, cafeteria, etc) was also completed with emphasis on future growth. Additionally, WA selected all interior finishes, furniture, and fixtures used throughout the building.
The construction documents were completed, remarkably, a full 6 months ahead of the original project schedule. This acceleration was due to a late requirement by BSCI to have the commissioning of the clean rooms by October of 2008, and full operations and project closeout by July of 2009. Both of these goals were achieved without compromising the quality and completeness of the construction documents. WA protected BSCI’s interests and investment by creating or reviewing all proposed construction details and product specifications ensuring their conformance with accepted American standards and codes.
Construction administration presented challenges as WA did not have a presence on site during the project. Instead OPB was hired by BSCI to act as the design team’s “eyes and ears”. Through OPB a constant stream of questions and requests for information generated by the local contractors and consultants were filtered and passed on to the appropriate disciplines. Because of the tight construction schedule, and a continual evolution of certain aspects of the design, prompt and complete responses to these inquiries were a must in order to meet the project’s time and budget demands. Quick “gear shifts” and the rapid production of additional construction documents for a given office, lab, or clean room tested the flexibility of the architectural team’s thinking on a daily basis. The ability to adapt and move forward was the hallmark of the construction administration phase.
The end result of this project is a state of the art facility that met, or more often than not exceeded the expectations of BSCI. The superior architectural detailing of the exterior envelope and the interior environments bring the building into compliance with both European and FDA manufacturing requirements. The building is also projected to be the first LEED Silver Certified building in Costa Rica, and the first LEED Silver building for BSCI worldwide. It is a fusion of industrial, architectural, and interior design that holistically blends different functions and activities (warehousing, clean room manufacturing, employee services, laboratories, administrative support, and public/customer interface) into one seamless operation where the needs of business, people, and the environment are treated as equals