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Ann Arbor, Michigan

NSF International Laboratories

the Project stats


Construction Manager

Cornerstone Design, Inc.
iDesign Solutions (Lab Design)


  • LEED Gold
  • BIM Coordination

the Project study

NSF International is a global, independent organization headquartered in Ann Arbor that works to protects and improve human health by developing public health and safety standards. The organization tests, audits and certifies consumer products with a mission to protect and improve human health through consumer education.

The core and shell area of this expansion was constructed in the mid-2000s in anticipation of future growth needs. Growth within the exposures, coatings, chromatography and synthetic chemistry testing markets spurred the organization to build new laboratories in the shell space in 2014.

Chosen due to the company’s extensive experience in laboratory construction, especially at the University of Michigan, Spence Brothers was engaged as Construction Manager to construct a fitout of over 24,000 sf of new laboratory and office space. Hired after conceptual design was completed, it was determined through the preconstruction process that value engineering was required to get the project within the Owner’s budget.

Throughout the preconstruction process, Spence Brothers and NSF identified areas to add cost efficiencies into project delivery and materials procurement, while maintaining NSF’s stringent internal requirements for the laboratory environment. The result was a project delivered within budget that still achieved LEED Gold certification status.

During construction, the complexity and sizing of the MEP systems in limited space created a great deal of design changes. Spence Brothers’ construction team consistently developed proactive potential solutions for the design team to review and approve. This proactive, positive approach was an absolute key to the project getting done within schedule.