If you realize that your laboratory is becoming more of a hindrance than a boost to your research or if your existing laboratory suite does not fit your purpose, then maybe it’s time to consider doing a full renovation for your lab and have new lab furniture installed.
Naturally, this is not an easy process, especially if you can’t afford to move to another laboratory while the one you have is being renovated to have new lab furniture installed. But the long-term benefits that you will reap from renovation will be definitely worth the trouble.
Why You Have to Renovate Your Laboratory
Laboratories take up valuable real estate and there’s only a finite amount that institutions can spare. Scientists and other lab employees have to compete with their peers for precious lab space in order to work on their projects.
When they do find a space, they may discover that the current setup is not apt for their needs. It could be as simple as not having enough microscope table or something more technical as not having the latest microscope itself.
At the end of the day, your team will end up repurposing. In such cases, renovation is a sensible and practical option.
According to Bob Mitchell of the Mitchell Architectural Group in Southbury, Connecticut, “Labs go out of date primarily due to equipment configurations and layouts that no longer meet the evolving protocols of the laboratory functions.”
Factors in Successful Laboratory Renovation
Working on science research requires a fast-pace timeline, so having a working space that can adapt and keep up is essential.
Here are the key factors you have to address in order to renovate your lab successfully.
1. Budget for Your Lab Renovation
The main thought here is that the more you invest in your laboratory, the more work you will be able to get done, which means more revenue that your lab will generate.
If your lab is being funded by grants, having a better-developed lab suite with reliable science lab tables can be instrumental in attracting more interest from potential investors.
So how do you go about this? First, you need to identify what you want to get out of the new laboratory. In this process, you may instill a need for this kind of research in the grant community.
List down the opportunities for the types of research that you would like to make, document them properly, and incorporate them into a budget plan. Make sure to highlight the research gains and investment opportunities.
Investors should be able to see the full value of the research. Now request for the highest budget possible — don’t hold back on negotiating at this point because investors will likely start with a more conservative price.
2. Who Needs to Be Involved?
When it comes to the decision-making process, there are several people whose inputs are very important during lab renovation. These people will help keep the project on course, make sure that targets are met, and help get the final sign-off.
The first person here is the lab manager, who will serve as the driving force of the project. Another person that should get involved would be the research lead, who can give great insight into the research that will be done in the new facility.
You should also find a stakeholder or board member who agrees with your project — the ideal person would be one who is passionate about such a project and helps other decision-makers to your cause.
Lastly, you should have a senior member of the finance team on board who can legitimize claims on budget and soothe whatever apprehensions that the board may have.
3. How Do You Decide on the Features and Elements That You Need?
Unless you’re lucky enough to be given unlimited funds for your project, most likely you will have to choose only the most essential elements you need in the lab and omit the rest. With finite funds, you have to be practical when planning how to spend the money.
According to an article from Endocrine News, “Without unlimited funds, only a certain amount of improvements can be made. The current conditions of the laboratory should be thoroughly investigated before making any redesign commitments. Once there is a list of upgrades, the committee can pick the top items possible while still staying within budget.”
Get input from your research teams on the kind of elements that they will benefit from. This would help greatly in building your priority list. You can also try acquiring the hottest pieces of science tables or elements.
The publicity that will be generated from being the first lab in the region, country, or even the world to have a particular tool or element can sway the board into committing funds.
4. How Do You Pick the Supplier?
Finding suppliers and contractors that you can totally trust is absolutely essential since lab renovation is a huge investment. Create a shortlist of laboratory furniture supplier that you know who are truly capable of doing the refurbishment that you need and then study their credentials.
One way to go about this is to find testimonials and case studies that the suppliers have been involved with. This will help give you an insight into the kind of work they produce and their ability to handle large-scale projects.
You can even go further and actually visit the sites that these suppliers have worked on so you can see for yourself the quality of work they deliver.
5. When Should You Review the Process to Determine the Success of the Project?
The end of renovation is not when the last piece of equipment is fitted in the lab and when water and electricity are already turned on.
You need to review the facility’s impact over the next few months or even years to know whether the renovation was a success.
Ideally, the lab should have attracted new work and supported new research during your time of observation. Measure the impact of your observations against the investment and then report your findings to board members and stakeholders.
Reviews can be conducted on the 18th month, the third year, and the fifth year to be able to gauge the success properly.
Find the Right Laboratory Supplier for Your Renovation
If you are looking for a supplier for your lab renovation, Lab Tech Supply Co is the answer to your custom laboratory furniture needs.
Our reliable customer service, manufacturing relationships, and quick installation will provide the best lead times for your project.
Call us now and let’s start setting up your laboratory.