Flexibility for the Future

Bristol-Myers Squibb
Devens, Massachusetts

To put it simply: Bristol-Myers Squibb is in the business of saving lives. The pharmaceutical giant is dedicated to developing medical solutions to many serious, widespread diseases, such as depression, HIV, hepatitis B, rheumatoid arthritis, and melanoma. To expand its development of drug therapies, Bristol-Myers Squibb commissioned the Clinical Manufacturing Building, which will house five of its products for late-stage clinical trials. Creating and developing these trials is critical to evolving a product for market, to expand and test on a broader scale and amplify the success of treatments. Larger production runs then inform the commercial products that will be manufactured in the client’s adjacent Large Scale Cell Culture building.

This project expands upon the current infrastructure to add to the research, development, and manufacturing capabilities of the campus and support BMS’s global reach. As part of the design team with CRB Consulting Engineers, SMMA provided structural design and construction administration services for the CMB project.

The 200,000-square-foot building, equivalent to two Manhattan city blocks, provided an opportunity for SMMA to design and construct a large framework to support the client’s vision. Flexibility is paramount to BMS, and SMMA’s design of ten 70-foot trusses spanning two 12,600-square-foot spaces, about a fifth of a football field, allows for future changes in space use and rearrangement of process equipment. Process spaces will benefit from the same column-free design of typical ballrooms.

This allows for the single-use clinical trial runs that will support late-stage trials, as well as for reconfiguration of equipment for different products to cycle through annually. The trusses also double as an interstitial space for mechanical equipment, and as a support for the second floor framing.

Overall, the design of the building considers robustness where necessary, balancing economy and constructability to create a framework within which BMS can set up ever-changing product development. This “future-proofing” design encourages the continued expansion and development of the campus to fit any needs that may arise, and provides the foundation for growth.