The Path to the Most Sustainable Labs Is Through Adaptive Reuse, But Proceed Cautiously

David Bendet, CBRE
Alison Farmer, I2SL

The increasing demand for science space, the current vacancy of non-lab space, and the goal of sustainable facilities are all driving interest in adaptive reuse for science in the hottest life science markets. In this presentation, we will highlight the sustainability benefits of adaptive reuse and explain why careful planning is needed to ensure that these projects are successful.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the reasons that adaptive reuse of non-lab to lab facilities can be a beneficial approach;
  • Describe lessons learned and challenges of adaptive reuse for science;
  • Possess links to tools and research material helpful in the evaluation of existing facilities for science; and
  • Explain why a science building, and the space types that are included, are different from other building types.


An architect with more than 30 years of experience managing the design and construction of life science facilities, David is focused on achieving excellence in real estate strategies, building a center of excellence, driving operational strategy, and leading business development activities for CBRE Life Sciences.

Alison Farmer is a former research astrophysicist dedicated to saving our home planet by bringing energy efficiency to laboratory buildings. Alison is experienced in energy analysis, design, controls analytics, and commissioning of laboratory HVAC systems. She is Secretary of the Board of I2SL and chairs the Lab Benchmarking Working Group.


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