May 17, 2024
By Amy Tanzillo

The Latest in Life Sciences: Four Space and Real Estate Trends

An effective space management and real estate strategy plays a crucial role in optimizing operations, fostering innovation, and ensuring compliance—especially when it comes to the dynamic world of life sciences. This blog post explores key emerging trends shaping space and real estate strategies in life sciences organizations of all sizes from big pharma to startups, emerging biotech companies, and everything in between.

Read on to learn more about these trends and key considerations that will help your life sciences company adapt and thrive in this rapidly changing environment.

Trend 1: Life Sciences Continues to Scale

The trend toward large-scale research facilities reflects the life sciences industry’s pursuit of innovation and collaboration on a global scale. With the continued rise of biotech hubs and research clusters, organizations have invested in expansive research campuses and multi-site facilities to foster collaboration and drive breakthrough discoveries. Now, demand for research facilities is growing even in denser areas like New York City, where life sciences has traditionally had a smaller footprint. This creates opportunity for real estate leaders and space planners to develop new lab typologies and space management strategies to bring life sciences to the heart of major metro areas.

Real estate leaders must be prepared with actionable data to stay competitive and ride the wave of this rapidly growing market. Occupancy data from space management and reservation software provide real estate leaders with insight into the performance of their current portfolio and can also drive informed decision-making when it comes to portfolio expansion, capital projects, and moves.

Trend 2: Office Conversions

As life sciences companies compete for prime space to conduct research activities, office space has emerged as a potential candidate for transformation into state-of-the-art laboratories. Vacant and underutilized office spaces plague many downtowns, and municipalities are moving to combat the blight by becoming more flexible on zoning and land use rules to facilitate conversions. Together, these factors create a compelling opportunity for life sciences companies to establish themselves in new areas early and lead the next era of urban renewal. Office-to-lab conversions also enable organizations to reduce their time-to-market by avoiding ground-up construction of new facilities.

Scouting for and converting the perfect property for research space represents a significant challenge for real estate teams and a massive capital expenditure. Real estate software can help real estate teams identify the perfect space for their company’s portfolio, execute transactions, track performance, and manage all the details of existing and new properties. Capital planning and project management software are critical tools that business leaders can leverage to plan and manage this type of undertaking. These tools can give leaders the insights they need to fully understand the opportunity around asset conversion, and ensure their projects are completed on time and on budget so that their companies can further their important work.

Trend 3: Emphasizing Experience

Creating a thoughtful, inspiring work environment has emerged as an essential element to attract and retain top talent in recent years—and this holds true in life sciences, as well. From flexible workspaces to wellness amenities, organizations are prioritizing workplace experience to foster creativity, productivity, and employee satisfaction. Bringing a warm, human-centered experience to employees is especially important in life sciences, where sterile, utilitarian environments have often been the norm.

Space planners and workplace strategists in the life science space not only need to create balanced workplaces, they also need to ensure that employees can easily access them so they can perform at their best. A robust space reservation solution will allow employees to book the right space to support both their work and well-being. Easy space check-ins, parking reservation, visitor management tools, and options to request catering and room setup services are all touches that elevate workplace experience and help life sciences companies attract and retain top talent.

Trend 4: Ready-to-Use Labs

Turnkey labs offer pre-built, fully equipped spaces that meet the full range of research needs to support life sciences companies from infancy to maturity. The trend toward turnkey laboratories reflects the life sciences industry’s growing demand for research environments and facilities that can help them accelerate innovation and scale with them. They reduce time-to-market and operational costs by removing the long lead times associated with acquiring or building new and then completing the fit out. These types of spaces are likely to make up a larger share of life sciences companies’ real estate and space strategies in 2024 and beyond.

Specialized turnkey research property developers are designing innovative lease contracts, and a comprehensive real estate solution can help them manage every detail throughout the property lifecycle. Connected real estate asset, portfolio, and transaction management software provides performance insights and tracks operational costs to drive ROI.


In an era of rapid innovation and transformation, life sciences organizations must embrace emerging trends in real estate and space planning to remain competitive and future-ready. Nuvolo’s Connected Workplace can meet your company where it is today and scale with you, providing the tools and insights needed to navigate these trends effectively and unlock the full potential of your research ecosystem.

Learn more about the Connected Workplace for Life Sciences.