What is Turnkey Laboratory Construction and is it Right for You?Ryan White
A turnkey laboratory project is one that is complete upon delivery. As soon as the keys to the lab are passed to the owner, they can open the doors and start work. All the equipment and utilities are in place and connected – so operations can begin immediately.
The easy-to-spot benefit of this method of laboratory construction is the reduced rigmarole of fine-tuning the lab over a number of design stages – with a single delivery date signalling the completion of the project. However, this can come at the expense of phase two and phase three developments – wherein the owners can oversee the early development progress and request the implementation of additional elements.
Therefore, turnkey processes are suitable for certain projects, but not for others – depending on the nature of the build and the certainty of the owner. Over the course of this article, we’ll delve into the benefits of turnkey construction compared to custom builds to see if this is the right type of construction for you and your laboratories.
One contact communication
Contact and communication in a turnkey project is much more streamlined since you only have one company to deal with. That means no more communicating with several different contacts concurrently or attempting to wrangle dialogues between two or more companies, which can be a serious drain on the time spent on a project.
Say, for example, that you need to contact the relevant parties about utilities and manufacturing, respectively. Turnkey construction gets rid of this hassle by only having one company to take care of everything, making the business of clearing up problems and dealing with issues much simpler.
Early project cost identification
Turnkey projects allow laboratory owners to forecast the scope and budget of the construction at an early stage, so it’s possible to move forward with the build, safe in the knowledge of the scope and cost. As the project progresses, construction cost estimates can be continually monitored, reviewed and reconciled.
Since you’re dealing with just one company, the stress of keeping track of multiple invoices from several different companies isn’t an issue with turnkey builds. All invoices come from the same company, drastically reducing the headaches associated with the bookkeeping of built to order constructions.
Streamlined design process
During the design stage, a turnkey project can drastically streamline the process of turning your ideas into a reality. Rather than gathering a number of invested parties and sub-contractors and parlaying information back and forth, a sit-down with a single point of contact could help you commit your plans to paper.
With a turnkey build, the design and planning are handled as one, eliminating the problems caused by individually contacting multiple companies. As a result, this significantly reduces the project schedule as a whole, speeding up the process and potentially accelerating delivery of the overall build.
Since accountability won’t be divided between multiple companies, it’s almost guaranteed that the final product will be a higher quality product. As the chosen company works on your turnkey build, there should (theoretically at least) be no dip in performance or quality when tasks move from one company to another. Lab projects are complex operations, having a single entity manage the task reduces administrative errors and bureaucratic barriers placed on lab owners working with multiple companies.
So, not only is quality assured at the same level through every stage of the process, a lot of the legal red tape that surrounds the traditional design/bid/build method, such as restrictive contract language, audits and inspection is done away with too. With a potentially mixed level of quality through working with multiple companies, you might find there are delays and setbacks to be had as the project moves ahead.
Working as a single team has the added benefit of reducing the overall cost through both the shortened project time and because the single team has experience of working together on turnkey constructions. They’re in a position to deliver a stronger end product through evaluating alternative designs, materials and methods at an early stage, followed by continuously reviewing engineering and constructability issues as the process progresses.
Similarly, turnkey manufacturers might be able to provide discounts on their services to keep the bottom line of the project lower. It might be a more difficult process to get discounts if you’re working with multiple companies.
Minimise legal repercussions
There’s a degree of protection afforded to the owner by the turnkey process since the outside company isn’t acting as an agent of the owner. The quality of the design is the responsibility of the outside company, who, provided they’re adequately prepared and carry out their tasks in the appropriate manner, can promote a friendly relationship that results in minimal amendments and litigation.
However you plan to use your laboratory, InterFocus can help you create the perfect working environment. For more information about our bespoke fitted labs, visit our homepage or call our team on 01223 894 833.