Are you in the market for new lab furniture, but don't know where to start? Here are 12 tips to consider when selecting your design, type, and material!
AUSTIN, TEXAS, USA, July 17, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ — Making the right decisions about what kind of new lab furniture to specify for your existing laboratory, renovated lab space or all new, purpose-built lab facility is both exciting and challenging. You want to make the right investment choices — because the decision you make today will have long-term consequences for years to come.
In our experience, clients facing the challenge of selecting laboratory furniture for the first time can become overwhelmed by all the choices and don’t know where to begin.
That’s why we prepared a checklist of twelve different design considerations you should take into account when searching for laboratory furniture. This approach will help you identify questions that you may not have thought about before, as well as pinpoint areas where you will need to focus your research in order to gather the final design requirements.
Once you have this information in hand, you’ll be able to work with one of our Formaspace Design Consultants to come up with an optimal design for your laboratory furniture that works best to satisfy your unique set of design requirements.
Let’s get started!
Consideration 1: Which Category of Laboratory?
Answering this question should be easy unless you are kitting out a laboratory on spec, attracting clients to use the facility (That will take more market research!)
Typical lab categories include:
– Educational and teaching classrooms
– Manufacturing and semiconductor production
– Electronics and testing
– Healthcare medical testing
– Biomedical research and manufacturing, including healthcare products, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices
– Chemical, oil and gas refining, manufacturing and testing
– Radiological research
…and many more.
Consideration 2: What Regulatory Regime Applies?
Nearly every laboratory falls under one or more sets of regulatory guidelines, whether it’s FDA regulated Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP), ISO 14644 cleanroom standards, mandates issued by credentialing authorities for higher education institutions, OSHA safety standards to protect workers or EPA regulations to protect the environment.
To help you identify what regulatory rules apply, review the lab category identified in the first step. Then ask yourself if you are selling manufactured goods; if so, which regulatory agencies govern sale and trade in this industry sector?
Then determine which state, federal or international standards will apply to worker safety, standards for handling and transporting dangerous materials, environmental pollution standards, and so forth.
You may discover that specific regulations will dictate what kind of laboratory furniture you can use in your facility. For example, regulations covering food manufacturing laboratories may require laboratory furniture with stainless steel surfaces.
Consideration 3: Wet Lab versus Dry Lab
One of the first questions that laboratory designers and architects want to know when specifying laboratory furniture is whether the liquid chemicals will be used in the lab. These so-called ‘wet labs’ generally have very specific design requirements, such as the need for chemical resistant surfaces, conveniently accessible built-in wet sinks — as well as all the requisite plumbing required. Lab workers working in a wet lab environment will need extra safety equipment, such as eyewash stations. Emergency showers may also be required, as well as built-in fume hoods to protect workers from exposure to dangerous chemicals.
In contrast to wet labs, dry labs are characterized as facilities that work directly with very small volumes of dry chemicals on a very limited basis, if at all. In fact, the trend for dry laboratories is that they have become more like information technology laboratories that are populated with expensive electronic gear and robust networks. In some cases, ultra-sensitive lab equipment will require vibration isolation and perhaps a purified air supply to prevent contamination of instruments and samples (see the section on cleanrooms below).
An important design consideration for dry labs is to recognize that test equipment used in these types of facilities changes rapidly as technology advances. Therefore, the laboratory furniture you specify today needs to be flexible, modular and reconfigurable in order to be able to make changes as new uses arise tomorrow.
Consideration 4: Electro-Static Discharge Requirements
Laboratories supporting electronic component manufacturing and repair, such as chip manufacturing or computer assembly laboratories, need to design their equipment to prevent possible electrostatic discharge, which can ruin sensitive microelectronics.
If you need to assemble, test, inspect, ship and/or package electronic components that are vulnerable to the effects of static charge, Formaspace can help. We have a complete line of workstations and packing stations with work surfaces constructed out of special materials that provide built-in electrostatic discharge protected areas (EPAs). Choosing laboratory furniture with built-in anti-static protection is the way to go if you have this requirement.
Consideration 5: Laboratory Heat or Chemical Exposure to Surfaces
It’s important to try to identify which chemicals (if any) you will be using in the laboratory during its lifetime. What about high-temperature exposures which may occur when placing very hot objects on the work surface?
Having this information on hand will make it easier to determine which materials to use in constructing the work surfaces on your laboratory furniture.
Once you have an idea which chemicals and heat exposures it exposures you’re likely to expect, refer to our article on choosing the right countertop surface for different chemical and heat exposures.
Consideration 6: Cleanroom and / or Fume Hood Requirements
Does your laboratory need to incorporate a cleanroom system to protect sensitive equipment and samples from microscopic contamination? What about protecting workers from chemical exposure? Will you need to build in a fume hood solution?
If the answer is yes to either or both of these questions, we have prepared additional information for architects designing cleanroom spaces. This article will help orient you in the different considerations necessary for specifying laboratory furniture, such as layouts design considerations to increase airflow and furniture material selection to prevent contamination.
Consideration 7: Laboratory Funding Model
Let’s shift gears for a moment, and talk about some financial concerns.
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Source: EIN Presswire