We recently made the decision to consolidate our lab with another to facilitate an ongoing research collaboration. The existing laboratory spaces are insufficient to support all of our equipment and personnel, so we made the decision to construct a new facility. We want to make sure we create a laboratory space that will meet our specific needs without exceeding our budget. What are some ways we can maximize our budget?
There are a few ways to maximize budgets when consolidating labs. First, assess the current laboratory space. Consider workflows, space utilization per person, the number of fume hoods and sinks per person, and safety concerns to gain a full understanding of your requirements. Identify the specific equipment, furnishings, and finishes required to meet your needs.
Next, consider whether any items can be reclaimed and reused. For example, metal casework and tables in good condition can be repainted and provide years of additional use. Minimizing customization and opting for standard systems can also help to reduce costs.
It is also important to consider how the laboratory may change over time. New equipment and technology, automation, and capacity are all important considerations. Building in some flexibility with, for example, moveable casework, will ensure the space can accommodate new equipment and workflows and reduce future construction costs.
Lastly, a reliable contractor or engineering partner should be able to make specific recommendations on how to reduce costs.