Top Tips for Designing a Commercial Laboratory

Businesses of various types sometimes require on-site labs. Clinics, processing plants, and tech companies may prefer to build an on-site lab than rely on a third-party option. Lab design is a highly specialised field in architecture. More often than not, smaller businesses may find it too expensive to secure an effective design plan.

While you may need an architect, companies or personnel can base custom designs on specific requirements. Here are several suggestions for lab design that will save you the money for an expensive consultation:

Get Input from the Scientists

The best labs are designed for people who actually work inside every day. If you want the best lab that takes care of all needs, then consult with the scientists and lab technicians who will be regularly using the facilities. Take note of their specific requirements and evaluate how these suggestions can be incorporated into the overall design. It’s important that all stakeholders are involved in the planning process to come up with the best design and also to plan the budget accordingly.

Determine the Lab Size

Unlike building office spaces, the lab size should be determined by research or industrial requirement. A lab that is not properly sized form the get go may experience serious troubles later. Keep in mind that the size of the lab should take into account the equipment that will be kept inside. The number of personnel who will be working there should be considered as well. Sizing the lab is a careful process because designers must keep sterile and hazardous environments separate from public areas like the hallways.

Designers can consider how fixed the lab should be here. Some areas may require constant changes. It’s worthwhile to consider partitioning areas with modular clean room panels to gain some flexibility in the design. Versatile areas can easily be changed in the future if the needs of the lab change.

Create Separate Storage for Hazardous Material

If lab uses to produces hazardous material, then storage areas for these materials must be though carefully and included in the early design drafts. Chemical labs, in particular, should carefully plan for storing hazardous material. There might be local or national laws to heed here as well.

Balance Aesthetics with Safety Requirements

Most lab owners want high-tech labs to also have showroom-like qualities. Putting research on display is a necessity for some commercial labs. Most owners also want labs to look elegant and appealing much like a regular office space. These aesthetic requirements must be carefully balanced with safety requirements of the lab. All labs require control room, for example, and these should be marked in the plan from the start before planning aesthetically pleasing elements.

Consult with Mechanical Engineers to Control Airflow

All labs require carefully controlled airflow to prevent chemical fumes from spilling into areas where workers are not wearing safety gear. To properly design an airflow HVAC system that meets all the safety standards, lab planners must consult with mechanical engineers early on. Consultations must be open and transparent to ensure optimal results.

The above tips should help your business plan a lab that is both safe and nice to work at. Lab planning can be an overwhelming process, so make sure all stakeholders are involved from the start.

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