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Key Considerations for Choosing Laboratory Furnishings

For laboratories with a fixed number of samples and testing capabilities, a traditional setup may be ideal

by Lab Manager
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tips for choosing lab furnishings

Maintenance Tip: Laboratory Furnishings

As you’d expect, regularly cleaning your lab floors, seating, and casework is the key to maintaining it for many years. The cleaning solutions you use will depend on the type of work you do in the lab and the materials your lab furnishings are made of. Some materials will wipe down easily with water while others will require a stronger cleaning solution. Of course, it also depends on what you’ve spilled on the lab furnishings. For example, cleaning chemical spills will require you to follow specific safety procedures and use the proper neutralizing agent.

How will downstream research and production goals influence the setup of the laboratory?

For laboratories with a fixed number of samples and testing capabilities, a traditional setup may be ideal. However, this is rarely the case for researchers, and with fluctuating sample quantities and constantly changing test work requirements, adopting a more flexible design may be wisest. The ability to move fume hoods, benches, desks, and other typically fixed objects can make the process more streamlined and cost efficient than a renovation.

How will growth in scope or production influence laboratory design?

Many laboratories and companies hope to expand into other ventures or research. In the past, this would mean renovations, new additions, or moving to a new location. By using a modular design, a lab can be designed based on need from the inside out, with the capability to change or accommodate processes as they arise. By being able to physically move barriers—such as furniture or the walls themselves—growth in the laboratory can be better accommodated.

How does being a start-up or entrepreneur affect the setup of the ideal laboratory?

Flexible lab design can be expensive—in some cases upwards of one thousand dollars per square foot. This can cause many to shy away from the downstream benefits of adopting a flexible lab design. For those who are starting up, or are looking to be more cost-conscious, the laboratory incubator may help. Innovation hubs exist around the world—large facilities where laboratory space can be rented and lab equipment shared. In such spaces, one can still get a flexible lab design, along with the support of the facility itself if needs change. These facilities also foster a culture of innovation by having many researchers from various scientific disciplines, which can rapidly advance the research needs of everyone involved.

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