Life sciences: a global trend is shaping the real estate market

At the Leiden Bio Science Park in the Netherlands, a modern office building has been constructed using the latest technology, providing a hybrid working environment conducive to innovation and collaboration. The Global Real Estate unit of Credit Suisse Asset Management has acquired this single-tenant building.

November 2, 2023

Key takeaways

The life sciences market is booming worldwide. Demographic change, the rise in the incidence of chronic diseases and increasing health awareness after COVID-19 are all factors equally responsible for this development. The life sciences industry is working hard to develop the relevant drugs and vaccines, and is enjoying rapid growth. This has resulted in huge demand for suitable new locations and real estate that can meet the specific needs of this sector.

Credit Suisse Asset Management is following this trend and around two years ago acquired the project at the Leiden Bio Science Park in the Netherlands. Over the years, Leiden has become the largest knowledge cluster in the field of life sciences and health in the Netherlands. It is also home to the country's oldest university. 

A global corporation as the sole tenant 

The turnkey property was delivered to Credit Suisse Asset Management on 1 June 2023. The new tenant, Janssen Biologics B.V., is owned by Johnson & Johnson, one of the world's largest healthcare companies with annual revenues of more than USD 80 billion.

The tenant is currently fitting out the building. The laboratories are still being equipped and are expected to be ready in November 2023. The building offers a total gross area of approximately 13,500 square meters and a rentable area of some 11,300 square meters. Parking facilities and the entrance are located on the ground floor, laboratory areas are planned for levels 1 and 2, and levels 3, 4 and 5 will contain spacious office areas. 

Sustainability principles already incorporated into the building project at the design stage

Source: RED Company/Powerhouse Company. For illustrative purposes only.

An intelligent design that meets high standards

Health, safety, collaboration and transparency are important aspects that had to be taken into account in the new building. This proved to be particularly challenging when it came to the laboratory areas. Thanks to an intelligent and sustainable design, the property sets new standards for the 21st century working environment. 

The building has an efficient and flexible floor plan to optimally support the various departments of the new tenant, with innovation and collaboration as the most important spearheads. The generous future-proof workspaces are surrounded by various building-related facilities such as a spacious and bright atrium, a roof garden and a company restaurant. Large flexible floor areas ensure a feeling of open space. The laboratory area can be relatively easy transformed into office space, should this be required in the future.

Highest standards in sustainability and well‑being

Globally recognized assessment systems were incorporated during the construction of the highly advanced, sustainable and healthy building: BREEAM for sustainability and WELL for health and well-being both inside and outside of the building. One particular example of the sustainability approach chosen is that the building has not been connected to the gas grid. Instead, it has an ATES (aquifer thermal energy storage) system, which can store heat and cold in the ground beneath the building.

However, the building impresses not only because of its efficient energy and water consumption and the reduction of CO₂ emissions, but also in terms of ensuring the well-being of the employees that work there. In this regard, the focus was on providing a healthy indoor climate as well as a comfortable and varied working environment. The BREEAM Excellent and WELL Gold certificates awarded to the building are evidence of the high standard that has been achieved.1

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Source: Credit Suisse, unless otherwise specified.
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