The Real Cost of Relocating Your Lab: How to Budget for a Lab Move

Most biotech labs eventually outgrow their incubator and need to find their own dedicated lab space.

With each relocation, there are significant associated costs that need to be considered and mitigated to save your bottom line.

The average biotech lab relocation costs over $100,000. By planning ahead, utilizing professional lab relocation services, and consulting with the experts, you can stay on time and on budget and help your funding go much further.

Lab Moving Costs + Considerations

When it comes to moving your lab, engineer Eric Pop says, “The process will always be more complicated than you think because it’s tough to anticipate all the little things.” Lab moves involve every department in your lab and external stakeholders from lab managers to finance managers to scientists, third party suppliers, and equipment suppliers/vendors.

When considering lab move-associated costs, consider the following categories.


Do you own or rent your equipment? Do you share with another lab? Will your new space allow for this? How long are your equipment contracts? How does this factor into the lab move timeline?


How do you manage your hazardous, chemical, and other types of lab-related waste? Do you require hoods or improved ventilation in the new space? When working with contractors in designing a new lab space, choose vendors who have experience working with scientific labs and even your specialty.

Think through:

  • How will you maintain safety in your new lab space? Will any procedures need to change or construction need to be completed prior to the move?
  • Are your waste management vendors aware of the lab space transition and on board for the timeline? Have they reviewed the new space?


If you create a timeline that seems too good to be true, it probably is. When lab teams try to do quick moves or use low cost options, things are often rushed and end up costing your lab much more money in the long run. Plan out your lab move well ahead of time so that you can adequately prepare for unexpected changes, construction delays, supply availability, and other unforeseen situations.

Cleaning + Moving

There are moving services that are specialized in laboratory moves. There are also trained cleaning companies that are specialized in laboratory environments. Will you need cold storage transport? Does your lab utilize live subjects? Traditional moving companies may not be equipped to handle moving complex, expensive, or sensitive equipment. Transporting hazardous materials requires special permits, so figure out your local regulations before you book a moving service.

Staff + Lab Downtime

How much staff time will be consumed by planning and coordinating your lab move? How long will your lab be offline? It’s as important to consider the things you’ll have to pay for as it is to think through how much money will be lost during the lab move process. Lab budgets should include extra money for incidentals and over-budget for the move. To save money and reduce lab downtime, consider using a specialized lab move service.

Transferring Lab Services

Consider your vendors of gases, supplies, equipment, chemicals, and other consumables that your lab needs to conduct research. Many of these services will need to be transferred to your new address. Without proper communication and planning, there could be delays in getting up and running in the new space.

Lab Equipment and Supplies

First, inventory all of the equipment and supplies that you have in your lab. Next, evaluate all of the equipment and supplies that you’ve used in the past 3-5 years. Then, think through your next year of experiment planning. What equipment and supplies will you need?

Lab moves, construction, and transition can be extremely costly processes. With lab move specialists, you can mitigate risk, save money on the bottom line, maintain safety, and expedite your move to the new space.

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