Laboratories worldwide deliver the high-tech backgrounds researchers require to discover groundbreaking medical treatments, make agricultural progress, and design innovative strategies for the world's most significant challenges. Successful laboratories result from extensive planning, cooperation, and coordination between the design team and all affected stakeholders. Even the slightest detail, performed inaccurately, can have a damaging impact on lab function and safety – so getting these areas right for the scientists operating in them is paramount. Read on for our top ten tips for a successful laboratory buildout or design process:
This is an essential topic in lab design right now, as involving stakeholders early and often in the design strategy is identified as critical but can present various challenges. This group often includes many people and different views, but collecting those differing viewpoints delivers a priceless foundation. Failing to involve an essential stakeholder group at project kick-off and early design determinations will undoubtedly result in a torrent of future problems affecting design, construction, and long-term laboratory use.
Most importantly, beginning with an all-inclusive kick-off session establishes a shared concept for the project, which you can use throughout the design phases to guarantee consistent execution.
Sizing the laboratory to satisfy user needs might seem like a given, but a visit to the lab facility will often demonstrate this is a significant issue. A failure to size the laboratory to satisfy user needs can result in insufficient bench and tool storage space, obstinacy or limited growth, and fixed functionality in the laboratory. In addition, this problem often manifests itself in lab spillover into undesired areas like corridors and common areas and can result in various safety hazards.
By consulting lab users and managers early in the design process, your design team can properly size the lab by specifying the number and kind of lab users, determining any existing lab equipment, and the measure of floor-mounted equipment to confirm clearances and acceptable bench size, and devising lab metrics and modules. Then, through charts, graphs, and workflows, the design crew can coordinate practical, efficient usage of space, safely maximizing options for shared space and cooperation between scientists.
With emerging design tendencies geared toward transparency and research on display, defining necessary control areas early in design allows lab planners and architects to construct a building design that features alluring aesthetics – and meets all regulation and safety requirements. Mainly, demarcating control areas early in design focus on determining the type and amount of the chemicals that staff may use in the lab to comprehend the influence on the overall design. A failure to comprehend the existence of flammable, explosive, combustible, and potentially hazardous chemicals can cause code problems, egress and exit crises, HVAC duct routing difficulties, and a lack of good chemical storage spaces.
To define these control areas, involve Environmental, Health & Safety (EH&S) in early schematic design phases, recognize the kinds and maximum amounts of chemicals that will be present, and use these totals per lab to launch control area grouping that aids in the overall building design, and design control areas that permit a future change in lab use and a potential upsurge in chemicals.