Reflections on Amgen’s Next Generation Workplace Experiment

Chris Leary, Jacobs
Michael Forth, Suffolk

Amgen recently launched their ambitious Next Generation Workplace program as part of a global initiative to reshape their laboratory and office space. This program will make both their research staff and facilities more productive. Specific features of this Next Generation Workplace range from the human side of encouraging social and intellectual interaction, to the practical side of cost effective yet highly flexible research spaces.

These projects are delivered under a multi-party Integrated Project Delivery Agreement (IPD) which breaks down many of the barriers that hinder true collaboration in traditional design-bid-build team structures, and enables progressive construction methodologies such as off-site pre-assembled modules. The project design and construction team employed LEAN principles and techniques to gain maximum efficiency in design, construction, and actual operation.

In this presentation, both the owner and designer will share their perspectives of Amgen's Next Generation Workplace program, and reflections on the first deployments of the Program in actual projects at the Amgen R&D facility in Cambridge Massachusetts, including reflections on which innovative ideas worked as expected and which will be improved even further in the next iteration.

Specific case study details include:

  • Reflections on techniques to improve the longevity and flexibility of the building infrastructure, above, below, and through the ceiling, with the goal of minimizing the waste and expense of inevitable changes in scientific programs.
  • Reflections on techniques to improve the longevity and flexibility of the laboratory and office fit out including modular laboratory casework, partitions, and furniture systems.
  • Reflections on experimentation with off-site module fabrication, which resulted in a rigorous design, and construction performed in more efficient and safer shop work environment.
  • Reflections on how the office and laboratory staff actually use and adapt the space.
  • Reflections on experimentation with design, construction, and operations teaming and collaborations which resulted in more innovative and cost effective delivery.

Learning Objectives

  • Compare traditional laboratory design concepts and features to innovative Next Generation Workplace concepts and features.
  • Compare traditional laboratory design concepts and features to innovative Next Generation Workplace concepts and features.
  • Evaluate the success of the Next Generation Workplace, as compared to Amgen's prior workplaces and the goals of the program.
  • Contrast the design and construction process under an IPD-enabled LEAN project team to traditional project delivery.


A registered architect and Jacobs Vice President, Chris collaborates with clients and leads project teams for many of the firm's recent significant high-performance office and research projects. His particular passion is in the area of process innovation – specifically mastering new innovative tools and techniques that greatly contribute to delivering better building and spaces such as Building Performance and Sustainable Design and Integrated Project Delivery.


Mike has worked in the construction industry for over 25 years. In his role as Vice President of Operations at Suffolk, Mike is responsible for identifying and cultivating client relationships and recruiting and developing key staff members. Mike’s expertise and strong grasp of project objectives allows him to provide leadership and effectively oversee the performance of his teams. He serves as a key resource and direct point of contact for both clients and project teams.

Mike has managed complex construction projects for numerous healthcare and science and technology clients such as Baystate Medical Center, GE Healthcare, Amgen and Quest Diagnostics. He has consistently contributed to the company’s success with his wealth of construction industry experience, hands-on management style, and demonstrated leadership qualities.

Mike graduated from Northeastern University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Technology.


Note: I2SL did not edit or revise abstract or biography text. Abstracts and biographies are displayed as submitted by the author(s).