Designing Your Laboratory

For optimal laboratory performance, the quality of your team and resources are your primary concern. When it comes to efficient team function, available workspace, and safety, however, the overall design of the laboratory plays a major role. If you’re not a scientist yourself, lab design may sound simple at first–a few tabletops, steel lab cabinets and fume hoods–but designing your lab is a very specialized task, one that relies on quality materials and adherence to strict state and federal regulations.

The laws regulating specific design elements and safety requirements for laboratory environments vary slightly by state, but there are common elements to consider during the design phase of lab planning: fire protection, separate storage, protection from hazardous materials, proper ventilation and wash stations, for example. Flame-retardant steel furniture and cabinetry offer fire protection and sufficient storage space, as well as non-porous surfaces that are resistant to hazardous chemicals. For chemistry-heavy laboratories, the inclusion of all-steel fume hoods with chemical-resistant liners ensures full ventilation to isolate and remove harmful vapors and gases, thereby limiting employee exposure.

Whatever the needs of your new laboratory, it is of the utmost importance that your design meets regulatory standards and accessibility requirements using high-quality, industry-standard components and materials. Genie Scientific offers a full suite of industry-specific products ready for employ in your newly-designed laboratory. Provide your lab employees with ample space and durable, easy-to-sanitize work surfaces with G1: Genie Express laboratory tables in a variety of countertop styles (and add to their functionality with a selection of accessories). Plus, with an ultra-quick lead time on production, Genie can ensure that your custom laboratory tables are ready to ship within 10-12 working days. Genie’s G2: Classic Lab Line offers steel lab cabinets in standard catalog unit sizes and colors, featuring standard laboratory hardware. For laboratory ventilation, Genie Scientific offers standard, custom and even walk-in fume hoods featuring SpillSafe work surfaces and unique SlideSafe doors.

Beyond the basic regulatory and functional concerns of laboratory design, you do have some flexibility with regard to its format. Consider the configuration of tables and cabinetry in the laboratory and how it might affect your employees’ access to tools and materials as well as how it might affect the flow of traffic through the area. Additionally, consider whether your company would benefit from an “open lab” design in which different teams share laboratory space, resources and support staff.