Pfizer R&D and Process Development Facility

Chesterfield, MO
Owner Pfizer
Architect Forum Studio
Construction Manager Clayco
Design Build Mechanical icon Mechanical

icon Mechanical is proud to have been a part of the new $200 million Pfizer BioPlace office / laboratory facility, which houses 625 scientists and researchers. The work housed in this facility includes the development of vaccines and drug treatments using proteins and peptides known as biotherapeutics. The laboratories here served as ground-zero for the development of the Pfizer vaccine as featured in this New York Times article: How Pfizer Makes Its Covid-19 Vaccine – The New York Times (

The facility is a three-story structure, with 294,000 SF of developmental lab space and a mechanical penthouse. The Development Lab is a three-story building, plus a mechanical penthouse. The one-story portion of the building includes a pilot plant, solution prep, warehouse, support areas and loading dock. Levels 2, 3, and 4 include the laboratories, office areas, and interaction spaces as well as a Cell Bank Clean Room ISO 7 and OEB 5 Lab space.

The central utility plant includes a chilled water/cooling tower plant with N+1 redundancy. A steam boiler system with N+1 redundancy generates steam for process demand and humidification. Additionally, there are high efficiency condensing boilers to support heating in the building.

Eleven air handling units supply HVAC cooling and heating for the building. Lab spaces are pressure controlled through the use of Phoenix Valves. Various process systems were also included to provide clean steam, high purity water, biokill of waste and CIP for process systems. All high-purity water systems were validated and constructed to ASME BPE standards.

Our ability to develop accurate pre-construction estimates that can be easily understood was just one of the keys to building a strong working relationship with the entire team of owners, developers and trade partners. It was through modeling and planning that we were able to develop the most cost-effective and energy-efficient systems for this facility.

We evaluated first cost v. life cycle cost so that together we could determine the best systems for this facility. icon’s role on projects of this scale and technical detail requires a complete understanding of how every component of the building will operate.

Everything ranging from the materials of the exterior skin to the light fixture selection had a significant impact on how our team designed and selected the right equipment. It was through many collaborative meetings with all of the team members that we were able to develop the best systems early on in the process. It is through this form of value engineering that we are able to deliver: improved constructability, better system selections, highly efficient design and better market pricing.


Capabilities Used