5 Elements for Safe and Successful Laboratory Design

5 Elements for Safe and Successful Laboratory Design

5 Elements for Safe and Successful Laboratory Design

Laboratories provide scientists and lab professionals with a high-tech environment to conduct their research and tests. However, an often-overlooked element in a successful and safe laboratory is the layout and design of the lab itself. Accidents are decreased, labs are more productive, and the transition around the lab is more optimized and smoother with a well-designed laboratory floor plan. In addition, accidents caused by poor furniture arrangement can delay experiments and research. Experts offer these elements to create a successful and safe laboratory floor plan.

Site visits and pre-planning.

Before purchasing new lab equipment and furniture or knocking down walls, a lab design company needs to visit the facility and meet with lab managers, scientists, stakeholders, and the design team. Site visits help to visualize the limitations of the space within the lab. In addition, meeting with all lab personnel provides valuable information on what teams need and the goals for their laboratory space.
Every group involved with the lab visit will provide different perspectives on utilizing the laboratory setting. Stakeholders play an essential role in funding a laboratory project, so it is crucial to include them in design meetings. The failure to involve stakeholders in the design process can often result in long-term problems that impact construction, design, and lab use.

Detailed equipment lists.

Compiling a comprehensive equipment list during the design process of a customized pathology laboratory is vitally important. This detailed list can be written down during the initial meeting with lab personnel and stakeholders. It is essential to do your best to gather as much detailed information from each group involved with the lab. This helps the design team determine the exact dimensions of each furniture element and the required equipment to go into the lab space. Based on the information gathered at the meeting, the design team can then produce a CAD drawing of the space. Experts offer these things that should be on your equipment list:

  • Computer workstations
  • Chemicals used in the laboratory
  • Storage cabinets for hazardous materials
  • Tabletop material needs
  • Utility and ventilation needs
  • Lab equipment dimensions and models
  • Laboratory casework types

Lab utilities and ventilation.

It is vital to plan vent systems, electrical wiring, and plumbing. If the laboratory team requires disposal of waste or fume hoods, the design team will create a detailed floor plan to help contractors plan around the preferred layout. If this is a lab build-out project, having the existing floor plan of utilities, electrical wiring, and ventilation will help lab designers adequately set up their design.

Routes for emergency exit.

Lab personnel needs to evacuate quickly from the facility in case of an emergency. Therefore, distinctly identifiable emergency exit routes are a must for every customized pathology laboratory. Every lab should have at least two emergency exit routes not obstructed by lab equipment or furniture. When designing a proper layout for a laboratory, designers need to keep emergency exit routes in mind.

Flexible design styles

A laboratory can support future changes in layout with modular or flexible furniture systems. Adaptability is an added benefit when using modular casework over more traditional millwork. Traditional laboratory casework tear out and recycle styles are obsolete with this type of system. Traditional fixed casework costs 25% less than modular and flexible furniture, but long-term use will be extended. Consult with your team to decide if this investment is the right solution for your laboratory facility.

Successful laboratory design requires considerations for safety and developing a floor plan that is well designed for the work that will be done within the lab. Contact us today for information on how we can help you with your lab design needs.

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