MovePlan has held a master service agreement with one of the US East Coast’s leading research and higher education facilities since 2017.

As a partner of choice for its laboratory moves, MovePlan has relocated over 1,200 staff, 5,300 assets and specialty equipment and been responsible for engaging with over 140 research labs / principal investigators, 80 different specialty equipment vendors (OEMs), and high-value assets.

Relocation of the university’s science building

The first project with the university was also the largest to date: a multidisciplinary site encompassing neuroscience and molecular biology research, comprising 16 stories and 365,000 square feet, including 10 floors of open and adaptable laboratory space.

The work undertaken covered all the laboratories used for education and research purposes, including wet labs. The careful removal and storage of equipment and samples is critical and the MovePlan team is highly experienced in moving not only sensitive, irreplaceable samples, but also high tech equipment, including incubators and freezers, with some newer and more specialised equipment costing over $1M alone. Both require focused planning to ensure items are kept at the correct temperature at all times.

Stacy Krepelka, Workplace Project Director at MovePlan, has overseen a number of the lab moves.

“Every laboratory move is unique and we face a number of challenges which require careful scheduling around the removal of individual items. This needs to take place in phases to ensure equipment is disconnected and reconnected in the right sequence, all the while managing a high number of vendors responsible for each piece of equipment. At any one time we can have upwards of 50 movers and specialist vendors on site. It quickly becomes a very complex operation.”

140

research labs

16

storey building

365k

square feet

5,300

items

Lab employees at the heart of all planning

It is paramount that the lab employees are consulted throughout all stages of any move. Most of the research being conducted in the labs has saved or is working to save many lives, so the smooth transition allows for their critical work to continue with as minimal disruption as possible.

Often the biggest challenge with lab moves is making sure the researchers are comfortable and trust the MovePlan team to handle their equipment and samples in a safe way.

“We’ve had many researchers who have never moved from their lab and their work has been in the same facility for over 20 years. Many of the samples are irreplaceable and impossible to replicate. We made sure to be very collaborative with them during the entire process and ensured that we had a separate strategy in place to move these items. For every single one of our lab moves, our team dedicates time to meet with each lab to fully talk through their move-related concerns and work to address these.”

Careful planning leads to successful outcomes

The MovePlan team also aligns itself closely with vendors and suppliers from the outset of any project, many of which have technical support teams that are not local (some travel from Europe) and require advanced scheduling.

“Once a move begins, we can’t afford any delays in the process. Our planning phase is carefully managed to ensure a smooth relocation and successful outcome, not only for the lab technicians, faculty members and the lab equipment, but also for the many hundreds of samples that are handled during each project. Our careful planning can be the difference between a research project succeeding or failing, so a lot rides on us.”

Stacy Krepelka

Workplace Project Director
stacy.krepelka@moveplangroup.com

To date, the MovePlan team has completed 15 relocation projects for this client. “We have worked with the team for many years now and continue to support them in a variety of relocation projects.”

  • To talk to us about a move or change management project for your laboratory, email the team on info@moveplangroup.com
  • To read about how to ensure a successful laboratory move, read our article, The In’s and Out’s of a Lab Move, here

We have worked with the team for many years now and continue to support them in a variety of relocation projects.

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