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A biopharma fitout in Colorado showcases one AEC firm’s Integrated Project Delivery approach

Building Team

A biopharma fitout in Colorado showcases one AEC firm’s Integrated Project Delivery approach

CRB Group supplements its own services with as-needed outside expertise.

By John Caulfield, Senior Editor | September 6, 2021
Members of Umoja Biopharma and CRB Group at the groundbreaking of a building fitout in Colorado

Representatives from Umoja Biopharma, CRB Group, and local government at the groundbreaking of a fitout that is being executed under CRB's ONEsolution delivery approach. Image: CRB Group

Late last month, the startup oncology company Umoja Biopharma and CRB Group, a sustainable AEC and consulting firm, started construction on the fitout of a 146,000-sf building in Louisville, Colo.

CRB, whose practices include Biotech, food and beverage, pharma, and Science + Technology, is transforming the existing building into highly flexible and scalable manufacturing, lab, office, and warehouse space. The design focuses on integrating LEED criteria and zero-carbon emissions to meet Umoja’s sustainability goals. The project is in two phases, and should be completed by October.

What makes this project different is the application of CRB’s ONEsolution delivery approach, where the firm—whose services include architecture, engineering, construction, and consultation—will take the fitout from its initial planning to operational readiness. CRB, with 18 offices in North America and two in Europe, espouses the principles of Integrated Project Delivery, and uses lean construction tools to align stakeholders on all aspects of the project.

ONEsolution is “key” to “creating a collaborative environment” with clients like Umoja, says Colton Konkak, CRB Group’s Colorado Market Team Leader, who spoke with BD+C last week about this project. He explains that the advantages of ONEsolution include early cost and scheduling certainty without any loss of design or construction integrity, “which is important for a startup.”

“Working closely with Umoja demonstrates their commitment to sustainability, diversity, equity, inclusion, creativity, and fast project delivery,” says Konkak. “These commitments and goals unified our team members and allowed us to support rapidly changing technology.”



CRB’s M.O. is to hire industy experts as needed on projects. For example, on the Umoja fitout it brought in three local subs: Impact Mechanical for MEP engineering, Kenny Electric for electrical installation, and HTI Labs for laboratory case workstations. “We aren’t bashful, either, about handing over our documents to other AEC firms, to get a second opinion,” says Konkak.

On certain other projects, CRB is dipping its toe into modularization through its SlateXpace multimodal manufacturing system that provides even greater opportunities for speed to market, cost control, and adaptability. Currently it is working with Germfree, which specializes in providing modular biopharma cleanrooms.

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