Vertical Labs Could be the Solution for NYC’s Under-Utilized Buildings

Establishing itself as a “formidable economic driver,” the life sciences sector could also offer an option for some of New York City’s under-utilized commercial buildings. Something unique within the U.S. is New York’s favorable regulatory environment which “permits chemical use throughout the height of a building,” opening the door to the “New York vertical lab.” Although not a new concept, it still has potential to be tapped in New York since it sets the stage for a mixed-use program like no other. “Labs can be paired with commercial and educational spaces, or they can be incorporated into large podiums at the base of commercial or even residential programs;” and it is “less risk-averse within a market than a huge single-use building.” Demand for life sciences continues to surpass other sectors, growing 67% in 2021 alone, and “from an architectural standpoint, it turns out that the standard Manhattan city block is an ideal size for lab buildings,” and New York’s “huge inventory of these under-utilized commercial and manufacturing buildings” with “their robust structural frames and high floor-to-floor clearances make them adaptable to life sciences laboratories.”