Having your own laboratory can be exciting. However, you’ll want to make sure that you design it correctly if you’re going to be using it for a long time. Take into consideration these tips when designing your laboratory.
The most important principle to consider when designing your laboratory is taking safety seriously. Without having the right safety protocols and equipment, you can end up injuring or killing anyone working inside. With this in mind, you’ll want to first think about equipment.
In terms of equipment, you’ll want to first purchase basic safety clothing like coats, goggles, and gloves so nobody ever gets chemicals on their skin. You’ll also want to think about purchasing a fire extinguisher, as it can be easy for newer scientists to start a fire in your laboratory. Ensure that you always build your laboratory with safety in mind.
After thinking about safety, you’re going to want to build your laboratory around size. This means getting the right amount of equipment and space depending on how many people you plan on building your laboratory for. To do this, think about how many people you are going to have max in your laboratory a few years from now.
For example, those running schools with thousands of students should plan on building a laboratory that can tens of students at a time since multiple chemistry classes are likely to happen daily. Those looking to build a laboratory for more commercial purposes might have to think bigger due to how many researchers a company may have. Always be sure that you’re designing your laboratory around the number of people that will be working in it.
At the end of the day, scientists need to find somewhere to put all of their equipment inside so it’s not laying all-around a laboratory. This means finding the right storage solution near or inside your laboratory. Depending on the size, this might mean multiple compartments.
The meaning of multiple compartments is that you might be ok with all-weather storage if you’re looking to store random equipment, but some chemicals might require temperature-controlled storage to ensure they are ok to be used in the future. You should survey scientists that are going to use your laboratory so you can get a good idea if you have enough storage in your plans or not. Ensure that you’re always designing a laboratory around the amount of storage you need.
After you’ve figured out your safety equipment and the logistics of the rest of your laboratory, you can then go on to purchase the rest of your equipment. To do this, make sure that you know what your scientists are going to be doing in the laboratory so you can think of the equipment they need. You’ll then need to make a list.
Laboratories typically require all types of equipment like Bunsen burners, strikers, ring stands, crucibles, and much more. You’ll have to make sure that you have the types of equipment lined up and how many you are going to purchase. Make sure that you not only purchase enough equipment for the staff you currently have on hand but that you purchase extra equipment for any that might break or get lost in the future as it can be easy for that to happen.
For times that equipment might be missing, make an easy way so that scientists can email you to purchase equipment immediately as certain experiments and work can be time-sensitive. Purchasing the right equipment will be the difference between a successful and not-so-successful laboratory.
As much as equipment is necessary, you need lab furniture as well to put all that equipment on. This means installing various shelves and surfaces that all of your lab equipment can rest on. To do this, take the people you expect to be in your laboratory and ensure that you have enough surface space for them to do experiments on.
In addition to having space, you’ll want to make sure that those using the labs are comfortable. This means finding chairs that are not only sturdy but are easy for those using them for hours on end to be comfortable while working. Always keep in mind the lab furniture you’re purchasing when building a laboratory.