Most people fail in executing the ideal design for their laboratories because they lack the knowledge to do so. As a decision maker, there are few things that you’ll need to consider during the planning process. We’ve compiled a list of technical considerations you must think of while planning your next laboratory. 

If you need any help in the planning and strategizing process that will cause a timely and within budget laboratory, we’d be more than happy to help you. You can find a list of our services here.

Category Information
Environmental Health & Safety
  • Main concern – Prevention of pollution through hazardous waste, chemical vapours, liquid effluents
  • All of these must be accounted for and the necessary equipment & design must be implemented
  • Risk Mitigator: Fume hoods & Ventilation system
  • Codes & Regulations – Ventilation, Fire Safety, Emergency Power Supply, Building Design, Equipment Design, etc.
  • Organizations: National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), American National Standards Institute (ANSI), American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
Design 
  • Main considerations – Building & Site issues, Floor planning, Laboratory configuration, Building services & structure
  • It’s important for the user to be familiar with their requirements & handover the design to the experts
  • The approach must be specific to the kind of laboratory being designed – Chemical, Biological (Molecular Biology, Microbiology, etc.), Agricultural, Pharmaceutical, etc.
  • Design alternatives must be included based on potential costs, benefits, zoning requirements, flexibility, aesthetics & time to completion
  • Codes & Regulations – Ventilation, Fire Safety, Emergency Power Supply, & Building Design
  • Organizations: National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
Cost
  • Main considerations – Construction Costs, Renovation Costs & Project Costs
  • It’s important to budget 65% to 80% of total costs for construction
  • Cost of the project is directly dependent on the type of laboratory that is constructed (Microelectronics, Biological, Biochemical, Chemical, etc.)
  • Approaches – Top-down (Decision made by top-level executives); Bottom-up (Institution determines costs in the predesign phase)
  • Set out a budget for contingencies such as consultants, move-in activities, equipment calibration & installation, etc.

Source: LABORATORY DESIGN, CONSTRUCTION, AND RENOVATION (National Research Council), 2000

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