Carson Design Associates Blog

Moving Roche Diagnostics Operations With Care

AUTHOR: Carson Design Associates - Indy   POST DATE:


Roche Diagnostics Operations
80 Guest Street, Suite 600
Boston, MA 02135


Kelly Lea, Project Manager + Team Leader


October 2018


In Fall 2018, Carson Design Associates assisted Roche Diagnostics Operations in consolidating three of their office locations around Massachusetts into one new building within the Boston metropolis. Because the project involved three different biolevel laboratories/offices, we needed to take extra care in verifying all the lab equipment, identifying specialized movers, and coordinating the relocation timeline. Additionally, we managed the award of their furniture package, including the review and validation of the submittals, awarding to the winning manufacturer, and installation of the furniture.

Kelly Lea, who oversaw all details of the move coordination process, further explains the project below.


What was the timeline for this project?

The total process took five months to complete. This summer, we met a few times with the core team involved and worked with key parties in collecting data, developing move scope and moving time durations. The move started in September and took about one month to fully relocate people and all labs into the new building.


What was your specific role in the moving process?

Nicole Wittman and I both worked on this project to create move documents, both for the movers and employees. She served as the client representative, working at the existing site to ensure everything got packed properly. She also conducted a final walkthrough to make sure everything was out of the building. I stayed at the new site during the move, working directly with lab owners, employees, and movers as they came into the new building. Nicole also helped provide direction at the new site for final punch.


What did you do to prepare the employees for the move?

Over 100 people from three different cities around Boston, Marlborough and Westborough — including 13 different lab spaces — would now be sharing open office space and consolidating laboratories, so intricate planning was needed.

We created a detailed schedule for the movers and employees to follow a specific sequence. From employees packing their personal content, to the environmental team decontaminating the equipment and relocating chemicals, to the movers transferring everything into the new space, we outlined the entire process from beginning to end. Also, because the move involved highly-specialized equipment, we asked lab technicians to provide additional direction on the best layout of their space to ensure it aligned with their workflow and protocols.

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Can you talk more about the move coordination process?

Before each phase of the move-in process, we performed walkthroughs of the old and new sites with the moving company. We created a strategy with the lead project manager to set expectations and establish the best way to relay information to everyone on the Roche team — especially the IT team, who we worked closely with throughout the process to streamline the employees’ ability to start working in their new space the very next day.

More specifically, we devised a color coding system, tagging all items to either stay or go. We color coded the lab equipment to reflect the consolidation of labs in the new building. Movers knew everything marked blue went to the” blue” lab, regardless of its pre-existing lab. Also, we wanted everyone to visually understand the equipment before moving, and so we created a photo package to clearly identify the main lab equipment.

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Did you face any challenges during this move?

We had to move several large -80 & -60 biological freezers to the new building, they had to maintain temperature with-in a couple degrees during transport and physically moving into the new space. Anything more, and the entire contents would be completely destroyed.

That alone brought a lot of pressure to efficiently and safely get them from one building to another. With these freezers moving to the sixth floor of the new building, we wanted to ensure the elevators would be continuously operable. To provide backup support, we hired an elevator technician to stand ready during the after-hours freezer moves. We didn’t think we could be too careful with our client’s contents.

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How was this different than other move coordination projects?

Because of the amount of sensitive equipment we were dealing with and the multiple locations, many more details and logistical planning had to go into the process. We partnered with a knowledgeable moving team and an environmental/waste management team. It was important we all followed the best practices for working with these types of materials.

Working onsite throughout the entire move-in process, you become the face of the project. Naturally, people come to you with questions. In order to keep all trades informed of issues and punch items, we developed an interactive help desk for the employees to utilize and for the correct team members to quickly see the information to address. As we left Boston all employees were working in their new space and the lab contents had been unpacked and Roche was on their way to having all labs back online to continue business as usual.

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Do you need help with your next move, we would love to help in the coordination. Please send us a note to assist you in getting started.

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