Whether you find yourself setting up a new facility, expanding your existing lab, or just replacing outdated fixtures and equipment, there are a few considerations to keep in mind when choosing your next laboratory furniture. You must understand the specific needs and goals of the lab, as well as the researchers who work there. The following are four qualities to look for when choosing seating for a science lab.
First, what are you planning to do? Will your lab deal with volatile chemicals? Or perhaps live specimens? Will you need to be extra wary of particle contamination of your samples? Before you order you will need to take a number of factors into consideration, including materials, features and durability. A good understanding of a how the lab space is to be used, as well as potential future changes, will enable you to choose lab furnishings that are not only functional, but long-lasting as well. It’s also wise to consider planning for future maintenance and furnishing upkeep. Laboratory furnishings are a long-term investment, and thus must be maintained until they are either outdated or no longer usable.
Plan to be flexible. For most lab workers, sample qualities and testing requirements change quite often. Such labs use a flexible design to save time and resources. Flexible lab furnishings can allow you to quickly restructure your workflow and reorganize your lab as needed. Adaptable workspace will allow researchers to expand or condense their operating size, allowing for optimal workflow and productivity.
Further, it’s important to keep in mind that many renovations are the result of needing to move or rearrange fixed objects, such as cabinets, benches and fume hoods. The ability to move such furnishings when need will cut down on future issues, such as increased cost and planning.
Be sure to choose simple and efficient designs. A good design can go a long way, promoting long-term productivity and efficiency. Adequate lighting, surface heights and instrument placement are several factors that, when planned appropriately, can increase productivity by increasing ease-of-use and reducing excessive bending, reaching or stretching by researchers and technicians. By being able to focus on their tasks without constant unnecessary distractions, lab workers can not only be more productive, but reduce mistakes and accidents as well.
Lastly, lab furniture should be cost-efficient. Most labs find themselves burdened with shrinking budgets. When expanding or renovating a lab, most managers feel they must remain on a budget, even at the cost of design or sustainability. However, by using early cost planning, or sources from more affordable sources, most projects won’t have problems staying within their budgets. It’s important to remember that quality is not a fair sacrifice for the price, as less durable or inadequate furnishings can lead to issues over time, such as replacing equipment, which will further strain tight budgets.
Choosing furnishings is an important step in setting up your lab. With sufficient planning, flexibility, design and cost analysis, your new or expanded lab can be as productive and efficient as possible.