Every lab has its own unique set of specs and of challenges, but there are some principles at play that everyone can benefit from understanding. Here are five more tips to create functional lab workspaces.
1. Synchronize Your Plumbing, Mechanical, and Electrical
No lab design is complete without making all the right connections. We mentioned last time the importance of ensuring proper ventilation. The same is true of the other building-wide systems that will interact with your lab. Coordinate with plumbing to make certain pipes don’t interfere with the placement of your dedicated lab furniture.
Place electrical outlets where needed, both for current configurations and possible future reorganizations of your equipment. Modern architectural programs even include clash-detection programs; use them to make certain you are designing the best possible layout for wired and connected equipment.
2. Keep Your Lab Cool
All working machines produce heat, so another consideration in the lab design phase is where heat will be generated and whether there is sufficient cooling appropriately placed. If not, you run the risk of shortening the life of your instruments — or even outright damaging them — as well as making your lab an uncomfortable place to work.
3. Plan Safe Storage into Your Lab Design
Avoid the dangerous possibility of lab techs using fume hoods as storage spots (we’ve all seen it!). Make certain you order sufficient dedicated lab furniture of the appropriate types for secure storage of hazardous chemicals and gases. Plan placement of your storage units to avoid the possibility of cross-contamination and for efficient workflow.
4. Invest in Flexible Dedicated Lab Furniture
It can be frustrating to need to rearrange your lab — but it’s inevitable. Processes and priorities change, instruments are upgraded, and new protocols are put in place. Make this easier on yourself by investing in movable dedicated lab furniture whenever possible. Our IonBenches come with superior strength caster wheels, making moving easier even with heavy equipment. Purchasing a height-adjustable lab bench allows you to easily connect your HPLC with a new and differently configured mass spec.
5. Check all Clearances
No, we’re not talking about security clearances here, though that might also need to be part of some lab design specs. Here we’re talking about the space you need to maneuver your dedicated lab furniture around your facility. Is there enough clearance to get a certain lab bench through a doorway, down a hallway, or around a corner? Review every possible pathway for your instruments and ancillary machinery, from an entry point to your building, all the way to each lab that might use that piece of equipment. This way, you will ensure that any instrument can be moved or removed as needed.
If you have questions or want more tips on how to set up the perfect lab with dedicated lab benches, contact Tim Hawkins now at 1-888-669-1233 or by email.