A case study on the impact of collaborative spaces in lab design
CUTTING EDGE A world-class manufacturing organization and supply partner, Encapsys has
TECHNOLOGY + been a leader in the field of microencapsulation for over 60 years. Working
closely with several leading consumer products companies, academic
LAB DESIGN institutions and top firms in technology markets, Encapsys uses cutting-edge
technology to encapsulate phase change materials (PCM), fragrances and more.
In order to excel in the field and offer the best solutions to their clients, Encapsys
needed a space that would aid in their endeavor. The solution for them was
a collaborative lab design. The Encapsys lab is designed to be a shared
space, where scientists, researchers and engineers work side-by-side, sharing
resources as well as knowledge. This collaborative organization, combined with
daylighting, achieved the goal of creating a space that enhances employee
PORTALS : Branded portals connecting the open office setting with the lab serve as an opportunity to incorporate the
Encapsys brand as well as offer a source of security. With the ability to see into the lab, as well as a badge access
system, scientists are assured that they, as well as the materials they work with are protected.
Lobby: A uniquely branded entrance to welcome staff and clients, while establishing the Encapsys identity
THE STORY Project Details
Encapsys was previously housed in three different facilities on one campus. Laboratory + Headquarters
Breaking off from their previous parent organization, Appvion, this 70-person
company was looking to consolidate all operations into one building for Location:
efficiencies, while creating a strong, unique corporate identity and improving the Appleton, WI
ongoing safety of their operations. As a result, Encapsys elected to be the first
high-tech building in a new industrial park in Appleton, WI. New Construction: 42,900 sq ft
15,000 sq ft research lab
Encapsys wanted to design a new workplace that supported collaboration. To
achieve this, EUA designers worked closely with the Encapsys head scientists and 10,000 sq ft office space
engineers to develop collaborative spaces not just within the building, but within
the lab itself. Through many conversations and sketches, the team understood 10,000 sq ft Pilot Capsule Plant
the needs and optimal flow patterns for the staff. In the transition from four (PCP)
separate labs on two floors to one large, open lab with central collaboration
spaces, Encapsys was able to not only improve efficiencies, knowledge sharing 5,000+ sq ft Support
and teamwork amongst staff, but they also experience economic savings by
sharing equipment and tools. Project Completed:
Encapsys wanted their headquarters to not just be functional, but to also serve
as a source of communication to their clients, establishing their own name and Budget:
identity and using their space to do so. The design team worked with Encapsys $13.5M
staff members to establish areas of the building to highlight their company story
and ongoing research efforts. Cost:
Full Service Architectural + Interior
Design, Lab Planning,
Corporate Engineering Manager,
Encapsys; [email protected]
com; 920.991.7586; 2515 South
Eisenhower Dr., Appleton, WI
PROJECT GOALS: INCREASING COLLABORATION +
»» C onsolidate multiple labs and facilities into a
single location More than 10% of the building square footage was designed
as collaborative workspaces for the Encapsys team members.
»» Create a unique brand identity The collaboration spaces extend to the lab which has been
»» Maintain a focus on safety, innovation, client designed as one open laboratory with a focus on ergonomic
flooring for standing as well as access to daylighting and
needs, and developing technological solutions views to the outside.
that improve quality of life
»» Attract and retain top talent within the science Within the laboratory, there are featured zones specifically
and technology industries designed around shared monitors and equipment. Flexible lab
»» Create a space that allows scientists, engineers spaces/benches were added to support three different teams
and technicians to work alongside one another consisting of up to 40 people (Scientists, Process Engineers and
while sharing knowledge and resources Technicians).
»» Reduce costs and increase efficiencies
»» Create a high-tech facility that’s enticing, yet not Project Partners
too opulent or expensive
»» Design a building that allows for additions and Owner/Developer Commercial Horizons, Inc.
can grow with the company Architect Eppstein Uhen Architects
»» Enhance the client experience General Contractor Miron Construction Company, Inc.
»» Showcase the creativity of their science Mechanical Engineer Ring & DuChateau, LLP.
»» Establishing the cornerstone presence in a new Structural Engineer Pierce Engineering, Inc.
technology park Civil Engineer + Landscape Point of Beginning, Inc.
Science on Display: Ample use of glass allows transparency into the lab for observation and security
EXTERIOR DESIGN INSPIRATION
The EUA team drew inspiration for the building design from the scientific process that would take place within. Just
as the microencapsulation process encapsulates individual elements on a microscopic level, such as perfumes for
laundry detergent, the white metal panel skin wraps around the edges, encapsulating the building along with the
scientific process occurring within. Upon approaching the Encapsys headquarters, clients and guests are given a
hint of the high-tech processes going on inside. The building was also designed to accommodate two wings for
It was important to keep employee well-being in mind throughout the entirety of the space, not just the interior.
A patio with native landscaping was incorporated just off of the central hub to allow employees more flexibility
and choice throughout their day and to avoid feelings of being “cooped up” in a lab all day. Employees are also
offered on-site, convenient parking.
“EUA did a
They had many
what we were
A GATHERING PLACE
It was important to Encapsys to not just focus on collaboration within the lab, but throughout the entire facility. A
central hub was incorporated into the fulcrum of the building. The hub is bordered by conference rooms, the open
lab, access to open offices, a media wall, outdoor patio and large windows which provide daylights and views to
outside. It was designed to be multi-functional to give employees an area to socialize, conduct a quick meeting, take
a break, eat their lunch, or have an alternative place to work and find inspiration throughout their day.
Each Village shares a central pod for more collaboration space and shared resources
An homage to their employees, part of the Encapsys branding 28 Total fume
efforts included incorporating the names of original staff members hoods with
instrumental in their transition on the wall of their common space accommodations
in the Encapsys colors. This memorializes the space as well as the for six future hoods
employees, emphasizing Encapsys’ commitment to their people.
8 Foot fume hood
12 and adjacent bench
for each scientist
Foot shared floor-
mounted hood for
Custom-vented enclosure for
small scale liquid chemical
Cupsinks and local exhaust
Hazardous chemical storage
Pilot capsule plant
CREATING OPTIMAL 41
EUA approached the design of the Encapsys 3
lab first and foremost by listening. Seeking to
understand the need and preferences of the staff, 6
the EUA team did several walk-throughs, observing 5
the things that already worked well, and the things
that could be improved upon for the new building. 1 RECEPTION 0 64FT
The results lead the team to create one large lab 2 EMPLOYEE HUB/KITCHEN
with multiple disciplines interacting within, rather 3 RESEARCH + DEVELOPMENT LAB
than a separate lab for each. Minimizing steps 4 OFFICE
for staff, adjacencies were thoughtfully planned 5 PILOT LAB
to centralize the shared, most commonly used 6 SUPPORT
resources and equipment. Safety measures, such
as shower and eye wash stations, are strategically
located to enhance safety.
Areas requiring separation to ensure safety and
decontamination, such as the Dispensary and Pilot
Capsule Plant, were placed in close proximity to the
main lab with additional safety precautions, such as
extra goggles, gloves and lab coats, conveniently
located just outside the locked doors.
People-Centric Lab Design: with windows on two sides, ergonomic floors, extended work stations, safety showers, ample technology and
centralized collaboration zones, the Encapsys lab design was planned with its staff in mind.
Dispensary: the Encapsys dispensary was carefully designed to handle
hazardous materials.The safety of the Encapsys staff is of vital importance.
milwaukee : madison : des moines : denver www.eua.com