By Mike Ruhl, Vice President at BioMed Realty
In March 2020, remote work took center stage due to the pandemic, and hundreds of thousands of companies had to adjust overnight. Now, with readily available COVID-19 vaccines and loosened restrictions, organizations are grappling with a new dilemma – how to bring their employees back to the office safely. Business leaders are actively looking for ways to promote the health and wellness of employees at work, while also incentivizing them to visit the office with premium amenities. Strong demand in life science real estate space in the Seattle market continues, and BioMed Realty is proud to offer best-in-class office and lab space, within projects like Dexter Yard, to our current and future tenants.
Prioritizing employee wellness
BioMed Realty kept health and safety top of mind when designing Dexter Yard, a 500,000-square-foot lab and office building in Seattle’s South Lake Union. It was a priority for us to incorporate design features and infrastructure that will positively impact future tenants. We are experienced in designing award-winning life science buildings and it is our goal to exceed key industry benchmarks with forward-looking innovations. With that in mind, and acknowledging the risk of possible airborne viruses in our future, we included design features that create socially distant spaces within Dexter Yard, including separate restrooms, larger floor plates and larger elevator cabs. We can also now offer tenants the ability to add specific building systems (i.e. Needlepoint bipolar ionization) on a floor-by-floor basis that can neutralize airborne viruses at an increased level. Needlepoint bipolar ionization is a process through which ions travel through the duct system and eliminate bacteria, mold and viruses in the air and on surfaces, based on tenant needs.
Another key differentiator for the project is a healthcare-grade filtration system that captures 85 percent of harmful particles such as smoke and exhalation. And the above-grade ventilation exceeds the minimum code of outside air of 41 percent versus the LEED-certified standard of 30 percent. As a result of these implementations, Dexter Yard has received Fitwell Certification.
It was always in our design plan to create four large outdoor decks at Dexter Yard for employees to take advantage of Seattle summer days, but post-pandemic these serve as an alternate option for socially distant gatherings. As part of the amenities for the building, we also have The Field House, a one-of-a-kind 5,500-square-foot multi-use space offering the ability to play, entertain and learn, with garage doors allowing for abundant fresh air and indoor/outdoor connectivity.
Commitment to our Seattle Community
BioMed Realty has a long-standing commitment to the Seattle region, and we were proud to work with strong local partners to bring Dexter Yard to life. This was a result of strong collaboration and vision from our engineers, designers, and contractors, specifically OAC Services, Turner Construction, MacDonald-Miller, Cochran, and SkB Architects.
While the last two years have been harrowing for the Seattle and global community, we’ve witnessed strong indications that investment in the life science market isn’t slowing down. We have been thrilled to welcome many organizations including, Shape TX, Outpace Bio, Parse Bio, and Monod, to Dexter Yard. As we all continue to return to the office, we look forward to partnering with tenants to make Dexter Yard their home base, and ensure that the best efforts are being made to protect the health and safety of their employees. So, as we continue to see the impacts of the last two years play out, we remain committed to fostering the growth of Seattle’s innovation community and being a valued partner to world-class thinkers and creators.