Colocation and Consolidation to Create an Entreprenurial and Sustainable Lab

Timothy O'Connell, HOK
Shawn Sowers, HOK

As large science organizations refine workplace principles to optimize space standards, they're also seeking to apply those standards to their research lab environments. Balancing researcher wants vs. needs through an ever-evolving research landscape, combined with a drive to consolidate facilities for efficient operations, can create huge challenges. The client organization must provide strong leadership on facility change planning right from the start.

In this presentation Tim O'Connell of HOK's Science + Technology group will offer perspective on a large technology company's process to apply their standards to a new lab/office consolidation project in South San Francisco.

This client has taken an entrepreneurial approach to this project -- which consolidates five different groups -- with a vision to promote innovation, knowledge-transfer, collaboration and operational value while meeting efficient square-footage allocations.

Tim will lead the audience through a case study of this LEED Platinum project to see how a highly-informed planning and design process can benefit from strong leadership, robust early decisions and a willingness to go back to the drawing board to get it right. With a focus on pushing the power of collaboration, they will show just how egalitarian space and research standards can equal innovation.

Learning Objectives

  • Taking collaboration a step further: The audience will see how collaboration can be viewed through the lens of sharing equals efficiency and innovation. On this project, opportunities to reinforce collaboration included on-site space and equipment sharing, creating a platform for corporate-wide sharing.
  • Efficiency is more than a numbers game: Audience members will be introduced to methods to get researchers to embrace new lab environments, particularly when they're being asked to move to smaller quarters.
  • Top-down, highly-informed consensus building: The audience will learn how the project team developed tools to help leadership build consensus for the changes ahead. Informed by the detailed programming outcomes, the team developed a detailed virtual model of the new facilities.
  • Benefits of interiors-driven lab design: Presenters will show how a push for color, vibrant materials and personalization of shared and departmental space can support recruit / retain efforts as well as create an atmosphere of 'identity' for each of the science groups moving into the new space.


Tim O'Connell is a Director with HOK's Science + Technology practice. With 20+ years of architectural experience, Tim has extensive knowledge of Lab Planning and Programming for highly complex projects. He has served as Lab Planner, Lab Architect, Project Manager and Project Architect on many of HOK's complex Science + Technology projects.

Speaker bio coming soon.


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