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Case Study

Lab Relocation

Situation

A molecular drug-research company sought to move its headquarters from Cambridge, Massachusetts to an alternate location. The facility housed 35 employees and 10,000 square feet of chemistry and biological research labs as well as a large animal facility. Months of relocation planning would have to successfully move the entire facility in one week.

In addition to managing ongoing research and minimizing down-time, there were legal and environmental lease-related risks that required the space to be decontaminated and certified as “clean” before the end of the lease agreement. Faced with a multi-phase project that required coordination of 100 contract employees to move the research materials, decontaminate the space, and provide environmental assessment documentation all within 7 days, the research company reached out to its onsite EHS provider, Triumvirate Environmental, to manage the project in its entirety. 

Action

Triumvirate took on the lab relocation with its unique ability to tackle from three different angles: laboratory pack and move services, decontamination services, and plan and permit services. Here’s how we executed:

  • Our onsite support services, field services, and consulting services all joined forces, with Triumvirate’s regional life science director as the manager of all project phases.
  • Prior to the move itself, Triumvirate’s consulting team worked with the research company’s director of operations to set up all of the environmental, health, and safety permits and plans required to operate a new research facility safely and compliant.
  • Triumvirate developed a new OSHA and emergency response plans for the new space.
  • As a part of the physical move, chemicals in the laboratory were divided into those that needed to be disposed of and those that would be transported as part of the move.
  • Those chemicals to be disposed of were lab-packed by Triumvirate’s environmental specialists and sent off to incineration or a landfill.
  • The chemicals being kept were similarly packed in drums, but transported to the new location.
  • Once the hazardous materials were removed from the facility, the field services team decontaminated each lab surface, including bench tops, drawers, fume hoods, and floors.
  • The debris from the facility was then loaded onto Triumvirate trucks for end-disposal.
  • On the heels of the decontamination team were Triumvirate’s technical services team, who certified that the labs were clean and collected data for the lab closure report.

Result

In 6 days 8,000 chemicals from an organic chemistry lab were packaged and sent for disposal while 12,000 chemicals were moved to the new lab location. The 10,000 feet of research space and the animal facility were decontaminated to ANSI standards as well as the lease requirements.  The closure report helped to close the loop and eliminate any environmental risk from the previous operations.  Overall, the financial and research costs of the move were minimized due to the reduction of downtime and maximization of pre-planning procedures.  Due to Triumvirate’s thorough EHS preparation, one researcher was able to continue conducting her research up until the morning of the move and then resume her research later that afternoon when the chemicals were safely delivered to the new site. 
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