The energy and petrochemical R&D facilities of today have very different designs from those of a decade ago, Brian Richard of Kirksey, a Houston-based architecture firm, told the Houston Business Journal. The latest R&D trend, he says, is flexible lab space.
“Ultimately, flexible lab space allows companies to save money by putting their R&D labs in a commercial office building that can also house more traditional office employees, Richard said. It is used as an alternative to building lab space at a chemical plant or a refinery.”
In addition to saving money, flexible lab spaces “can be used for different lab purposes. For example, a lab could initially start out developing new chemicals for downstream processes, but in a few years it could be converted to specialize in a completely separate area, such as upstream product testing.”