While labs come in all shapes, sizes, and layouts, and many design elements are subjective, such as which lab tables and lab furniture to implement—there are several considerations that all good planners make when creating an optimized laboratory design.
Laboratory design is a multifaceted challenge, playing a vital role in the research process that must be realized to promote efficient scientific work.
Though there are many opinions regarding the best use of a laboratory workspace, there are undeniable truths on which everyone can agree—the arrangement and layout of a lab exist to make scientific work as smooth and keep researchers as comfortable and efficient as possible.
Below, we’ll provide some practical tips for designing a science laboratory and what factors you should consider when designing your laboratory layout.
5 Factors to Consider When Designing a Laboratory Table Layout
When redesigning or reconfiguring your lab layout, there are several factors that must be prioritized. Even the smallest design flaw can cause delays, an increase in mistakes and accidents, and compromise experiments. As a result, it’s critical that a science lab is set up to the highest standards.
Here are five ways to ensure the reconfiguration of your science lab promotes efficient and product lab work:
1. Pre-Planning and Preparation
A vital period of pre-planning is required for the design of a lab. While a designer can create a functional space that can be used for a variety of purposes, creating a custom, optimized lab necessitates a more in-depth understanding of the work to be done within the facility.
Working with those who will use the area is essential because the laboratory can be custom tailored to the research required and ensure various elements can be quickly identified.
Designers should meet with all stakeholders and facility researchers before beginning the designing process to determine the team’s specific needs. This collaboration provides designers with the precision that is particularly useful for unique applications of scientific research, especially when hazardous chemicals are involved.
2. Assessment of Laboratory Layout
When planning the design of your lab, keep the location and arrangement of the space in mind. Simple things like ease of maintenance, accessibility of equipment, heating and cooling requirements, and ergonomics all have an impact on room architecture.
During this process, be sure to consider the lab’s flexibility. Once all of the equipment is in place, it can be difficult to change things, but building flexibility in your lab from the beginning mitigates these issues.
If the lab is being built in an existing structure, a comprehensive list of utilities and a map detailing where each can be accessed will also help in the design process.
3. Accessibility of the Lab
It’s also important to determine whether the space you are designing will provide adequate access to other areas of the building, storage cabinets, and emergency exits.
Some educational labs may be able to be located anywhere in a building, whereas research facilities for large corporations or pharmaceutical companies may require special access to delivery or entrance areas.
Even if these future implications are not considered, a flexible environment is important because two or more researchers may be performing different tasks or have different needs for comfortable working.
A lab’s space should be easy to reconfigure in order for it to remain flexible, and science lab tables can be relocated to meet the needs of a new project without the need for outside labor. Being able to move it around when it is not currently being used can save time and hassle when important work needs to be completed.
4. Determine Equipment and Material Needs
Some laboratories with different departments or areas choose to consolidate their equipment and consumable materials in one centralized area, whereas others choose to spread them out—providing individual utilities and tools for each department.
Making a detailed list of all the equipment, materials, and consumables used by each department will help you determine whether you need to allow space for each to have its own separate equipment and materials.
Making a complete list of equipment will also help you determine whether you have chosen an area with enough space to accommodate all necessary items or where you may need to expand, adjust, cut back, or completely revise your designs.
Remember that equipment, such as glassware, beakers, flasks, pipettes, and bunsen burners, will eventually take up a considerable amount of space, so it’s crucial to make sure you have adequate space for all necessary items.
It’s also crucial to consider where you place additional items like goggles, gloves, graduated cylinders, tongs, forceps, funnels, and dry-erase boards when they’re not being used.
5. Consider All Environmental Design Factors
Previously, lab designers chose to section off labs, creating smaller rooms/areas for individual researchers to work in privacy.
While this approach to lab design can be successfully implemented, modern lab designers have begun to opt for an open concept design, no longer isolating researchers and technicians from one another and instead creating a more collaborative working environment.
Everyone benefits from positive environmental factors with a thoughtful and well-designed laboratory layout. In addition to providing a more social and natural working environment, open-concept labs provide additional flexibility due to the absence of walls and barriers to reconfigurations.
More researchers and lab workers will be able to achieve their full potential and retain more information when layouts and environmental factors are taken into account.
Speak to an Expert About Renovating Your Science Lab Today!
Science labs provide a high-tech environment in which educators and researchers make incredible discoveries and educate the world’s future researchers and scientific minds.
As a result, whether you’re constructing a medical research facility or a high school chemistry lab, it’s critical to carefully plan and design your laboratory layout to ensure it meets specific safety and accessibility standards and the specific needs of the type of lab you are designing.
When designing a new laboratory or reconfiguring the layout of an existing lab, it’s crucial that you work with a manufacturer who offers cutting-edge lab equipment as well as expert design advice and insights. Luckily, LabTech Supply Company is here to help you determine the best way to utilize your available lab space while putting safety, space, and accessibility first.
For over 30 years, LabTech Supply Company has been committed to providing a comprehensive selection and categories of high-quality lab products for all types of lab environments. From fume hoods to laboratory casework and accessories and lab tables,
Speak with one of our expert science lab designers, who will walk you through the process and answer any other questions you may have about the renovation process of your science lab. You may email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us at 800-476-5228 at LabTech Supply today!