On Thursday, 8 June, the first pile was driven into the ground for the new building of BaseClear, the largest independent DNA research laboratory in the Netherlands. The building, with its offices and high-tech laboratories, will be the first building on the Leiden BioScience Park with the BREAAM Excellent sustainability label. BaseClear hopes to move into the new building in mid-2018.
High Tech Laboratories
‘BaseClear offers high quality services, and for this our laboratory needs to meet the latest standards. The advantageous thing about the new building is that we can equip it in a way that exactly meets our requirements. This will allow us to work even more efficiently and deliver work of an even higher quality’, says Erna Barèl, CFO of BaseClear. Bas Reichert, CEO of BaseClear, adds, ‘In so doing, it is essential that we are able to work in a larger, more modern, and even more inspiring environment. The market for DNA analysis is growing rapidly, and there are many opportunities for us. With these new laboratories, we will remain at the forefront of the field’.
Outgrowing a DNA Laboratory
In the new building, BaseClear will be able to continue its rapid growth. In the past 5 years the number of employees has doubled; the current building had grown too small. Bas Reichert is proud of this next step: ‘We started in 1993 with just two of us, and now we have over 60 employees. Building our own facility is a kind of reward for our efforts and the efforts of our employees these past 25 years.’
The new building, designed by architectural firm Popma & ter Steege, will be the first building in the Leiden BioScience Park to carry the BREAAM Excellent sustainability label. This is due, among other things, to the compact construction volume of the building, the thermal storage, the economical installation system, LED lighting, and 200 PV panels for generating energy. ‘Not only does the building need to meet these high sustainability requirements, but the policies, procedures, and awareness of the employees must also be taken into account. We find it important to be a socially involved company, and will also continue to incorporate this into our business operations as much as possible’, says Erna Barèl.
Relocation within Leiden BioScience Park
BaseClear has deliberately chosen to remain in the Leiden BioScience Park. The new building will be situated next to the Sylvius building of Leiden University, at the intersection of the Wassenaarseweg and the Sylviusweg. Erna Barèl explains, ‘Leiden has a unique business park. It is the largest life sciences knowledge hub in the Netherlands, and many of our customers, partners, and other business relations are literally around the corner. Also, the University of Leiden, with whom we work very closely, is just a stone’s throw away. Thus, remaining will allow us to continue to maintain these strong connections with our network.’ Bas Reichert adds: ‘The high concentration of top-notch research, business, education, and healthcare, attracts companies, students, and scientists from all over the world. It is the ideal environment for us to be able to respond quickly to the developments in the field’