Lab Planning & Design - Steps and other basic considerations before lab project starts
Laboratory Layout & Design Considerations

Laboratory Layout & Design Considerations

Following is a basic set of considerations for general laboratory layout & design. It is not intended to be a comprehensive, but it will be helpful in the review of the needs & requirements for most laboratories. This information will form a sound foundation for the interaction with our lab design team on the layout of furnishings for your lab.

1. Determine the general purpose of each lab, support or work space

  1. Number of people
  2. Amount of bench required per person or per operation
  3. Number of fume hoods or biological safety cabinets needed

2. Confirm the rough lab spaces & sizes needed and their locations within the building

  1. Review service runs required
  2. Confirm the floor to deck space in the labs
  3. Inspect proposed mechanical distribution and passageways

3. Engage your Environmental Health & Safety person as well as Facilities Operations & Maintenance for input

4. Develop a lab equipment listing reflecting the sizes of each piece, service requirements and respective heat loss

  1. Confirm if the equipment will fit on the bench or floor. Consider your future operations.
  2. All equipment should be placed into a plan view drawing to confirm fit
  3. Review overall voltages and total amperage needed for the project
  4. Review venting requirements, data connections, and any ancillary equipment needed

5. Examine the proposed lab layout & workflow

6. Review the need for flexible, open, lab space in the lab layout, consider future needs

7. From a historical perspective, review what’s working and not working in the current lab

8. Review specific needs within the lab for:

  1. Radioactive or biological materials
  2. Hazardous operations
  3. ADA compliance
  4. Access for rolling equipment

9. Confirm the need for ancillary lab space or other space that makes the rest of the lab work more efficiently:

  1. Sample receiving
  2. Work in process
  3. Glass wash/prep areas
  4. Equipment support space
  5. Offices or desk spaces

10. Examine lab storage needs

  1. Supplies
  2. Glassware
  3. Chemicals
  4. Samples
  5. Receiving

11. Review hood selection and distribution in the lab

  1. They should be sized to safely fit the purpose
  2. Provide access for people, equipment, & process
  3. Positioned correctly within the lab
  4. Confirm plumbed and wired service needs
  5. Confirm the HVAC requirements and the need for both supply and exhaust air systems

12. Confirm the effective separation of lab areas:

  1. Lab and Office
  2. Higher and Lower areas of hazard or chemical use
  3. Sinks & electronics
  4. Safety showers & electronics
  5. Centrifuges and balances

13. Review needed availability & service distribution in the lab

  1. Deck mounted pedestals
  2. Wall mounted fittings
  3. Overhead service panels

14. Review lab lighting & orientation for effective illumination of the work spaces

15. For sinks, review location, size, purpose & services needed

16. Confirm locations for:

  1. Coat racks
  2. Safety Glasses
  3. Gloves
  4. Shoe covers
  5. Tack mats

17. Review room air changes needed within the lab and storage spaces

18. Review aisle way clearances

  1. Code considerations
  2. Passage of equipment
  3. Avoid back to back chair arrangements

19. Confirm the placement of all lab safety fixtures and equipment

  1. Eye washes
  2. Safety showers
  3. Fire blankets

20. Review the need for controlled access to the lab and support spaces