COVID-19 Challenges and Successes for Designing and Operating Safe and Sustainable Labs

View the Town Hall Recording

COVID-19 has changed the way laboratories operate, from academic institutions to research and development protocols. To continue this important conversation as labs consider reopening and retooling for the future, the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL) is hosting its second free town hall on the topic, COVID-19 Challenges and Successes for Designing and Operating Safe and Sustainable Labs.

Hear a panel of lab experts from academia, pharma, and biotech on the East and West Coast address the top questions facing lab owners, operators, engineers, and designers today as we learn to adapt to COVID-19 concerns:

  • Successes and challenges surrounding social distancing in labs, common areas such as elevators, or non-lab buildings.
  • How the pandemic is changing lab design requirements, new and retrofit, from both a safety and sustainability angle.
  • How you can prioritize sustainability when addressing air quality/exchanges to keep labs safer and still energy-efficient.

This town hall is the second in a series of events I2SL is offering to discuss lab design concepts and operational practices to maintain safety, energy efficiency, and environmental sustainability during COVID-19. View the recording of the first town hall, Returning to the Operational Lab Environment During COVID-19.

Town Hall Recording

View the town hall recording and download the PowerPoint presentation.

As there are many and varied topics to cover while the country continues to cope with COVID-19, the I2SL Northern California and New England Chapters are co-hosting this town hall with the generous support of their local sponsors and in conjunction with the California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) and the San Francisco Chapter of the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE).


Lisa Churchill, PG, is an Associate Principal in Arupís Boston office with a focus on resilience. Ms. Churchill has expertise in climate and other disruptors including large-scale environmental perturbations such as pandemics and mass extinctions. She is a faculty member for an executive level course on urban resilience at MIT and co-author of original research quantifying the financial and economic impacts of climate change. She recently published a piece on private sector resilience during COVID-19.

Patrick Daley is a Senior Director for Gritstone Technology, responsible for Facilities, Engineering, Maintenance, Logistics and EHS. Mr. Daley has served on both the ownerís side and the design side of pharmaceutical engineering for over 20 years. Gritstone is focused on personalized immunotherapy and has had to remain fully operational across both coasts during this pandemic. In his current role, Mr. Daley helped create and lead Gritstoneís Covid Task Force, responsible for meeting multiple statesí requirements.

Jim Doughty is a Certified Industrial Hygienist and currently employed as Senior Program Manager in the Industrial Hygiene Program in MITís Environment, Health and Safety Office. Mr. Doughty has been working the EHS field for over 20 years. He is the primary author of MITís Laboratory Ventilation Management Plan and serves a pivotal role in laboratory design and construction projects with a focus on ventilation and energy conservation.

Ted Palashis founded Overbrook Support Services, a privately-owned professional laboratory services and instrumentation company, in 2001. The company focuses on essential laboratory instrumentation services throughout the life cycle of the laboratory. Overbrook Support specializes in laboratory relocations, laboratory asset management, instrumentation engineering and procurement services and provides support to the life sciences, biotech, materials and environmental testing industries. Overbrook clients include EMD Serono, Quest Diagnostics, Sanofi Genzyne, Bureau Veritas, and others.

Kelley Raasch is a certified safety professional and Associate Director of Environmental Health and Safety at the Broad Institute and has more than 20 years of experience in the EHS field. She holds a B.S. in Industrial Hygiene and Environmental Toxicology from Clarkson University. For the last 13 years, Ms. Raasch has helped develop and manage many aspects of the Broadís EHS Department. She implemented an institute-wide Crisis and Emergency Management Plan with supporting business continuity plans for both administration and lab operations. She is a member of the Broadís COVID task force team and has been intimately involved with managing the Instituteís pandemic response.

Mary Jo Spector has been the Director of Research Facilities at Florida State since 2013. A Florida licensed architect and LEED accredited professional, Ms. Spector is focused on the design and construction of research facilities at Florida State, both in new and renovated space. Prior to joining FSU, she worked for a number of architectural firms including Flad & Associates, where her she managed healthcare and laboratory projects for Shands Healthcare, the Centers for Disease Control, the University of South Florida, and others for over 30 years.

Moderator: Jonathan Eisenberg is an Associate Principal at Arup, based in the Boston office and a registered professional engineer (PE) in Massachusetts and Connecticut. He is Arupís Regional Science Business Leader and Chemical Engineering Skills Leader in the Americas, and also leads Arupís process hazards, risk & compliance offering. Jon has 33 years of fire and chemical engineering experience and is a nationally known expert in industrial, chemical, and laboratory hazard analysis and risk mitigation. Jon sits on the technical committees for NFPA 45 (Laboratories) and NFPA 318 (Clean Rooms), as well as the MA Fire Code Hazardous Materials Committee.


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