Harvard University i-Lab

125 Western Ave.
Boston, Massachusetts

Adjacent to Harvard Business School’s Allston campus, the University converted the former offices for Boston’s public television station WGBH into an innovation lab. The adaptive reuse of this 78,000 SF facility brings together cross-curricular interests within its “hive”-like design to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation among students and faculty. The three-story building was built in 1963 and contained outdated mechanical equipment that was in need of replacement. Serving as the design-assist mechanical contractor, TG Gallagher installed entirely new HVAC and plumbing systems. From design to occupancy, the fast track eight-month accelerated project schedule required creativity from the construction team in the face of several challenges. The new mechanical system was constructed around the existing concrete structure, which had little flexibility. To overcome this obstacle, a redundant distribution system was designed to fit within the strict floor-to-ceiling constraints. A fully integrated BIM model allowed for extensive pre-fabrication, which greatly increased productivity, quality, and safety.

Architect: Shepley Bulfinch
Engineer: RDK
General Contractor: Shawmut Design and Construction