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Business metrics of laboratory space utilization

Stephen D. Unwin (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Risk and Decision Sciences Group, Richland, Washington, USA)
Barbara A. Fecht (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Risk and Decision Sciences Group, Richland, Washington, USA)
Theresa M. Bergsman (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Risk and Decision Sciences Group, Richland, Washington, USA)

Facilities

ISSN: 0263-2772

Article publication date: 4 July 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to establish novel business metrics of laboratory space utilization for a large, multi‐client R&D organization and to describe their use in space planning to meet strategic objectives. The paper aims to show that traditional methods for measuring and managing laboratory space utilization are impractical in a dynamic environment where there are frequent and significant changes in the use of the space.

Design/methodology/approach

The integration of disparate databases – financial, facilities management, and project R&D – enables financial performance data to be explicitly resolved to individual laboratory resources. In turn, this allows determination of the efficiency with which laboratory space is being utilized in meeting the organization's financial and strategic objectives.

Findings

Unique and actionable insights were generated in applying the methodology. It provided bases for the identification of both over‐ and under‐utilized laboratory spaces, as well as the means of assessing the efficacy with which space assets are being used in achieving the organization's strategic missions.

Practical implications

This departure from more conventional concepts of occupancy‐based metrics of space utilization treats R&D laboratory space explicitly as a business resource.

Originality/value

The emerging business‐based metrics of lab space utilization are proving to be increasingly valuable tools in both short‐term and strategic space planning.

Keywords

Citation

Unwin, S.D., Fecht, B.A. and Bergsman, T.M. (2008), "Business metrics of laboratory space utilization", Facilities, Vol. 26 No. 9/10, pp. 366-373. https://doi.org/10.1108/02632770810885724

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited