ed difficulties with a higher student count. So
planners adapted the standards accordingly.
On a deeper level, the interview process
conveyed to instructors that their opinion is
valued, and allowed administrators to witness
what pleases and what frustrates instructors.
From these activities emerged a few key goals,
such as encouraging student/instructor interaction, responding to different teaching styles and
making labs comfortable and easy to use. Science
and technology planners used the data to create
lab prototype options that meet the goals.
MAKING THE INPUT COUNT: DESIGN STANDARDS
Each CCC campus has a different culture.
Each instructor has a preferred teaching method. At one campus, a teacher likes to teach “the
old-fashioned way.” He uses a fixed island with
cup sinks. Another instructor at another campus
prefers clean island benches. Her students do all
their experiments at fume hoods. Further complicating matters, many students don’t have lap-tops. Therefore, some instructors want wet labs
with desktop computers around the perimeter.
The challenge then became creating guidelines
that consider these and the many other needs
identified during the survey and assessment
phase. CCC’s size added a
further dimension: Not only
did the guidelines have to
rival labs at leading institu-
tions, but they also had to
achieve consistency through-
out CCC’s seven campuses.
The resulting guidelines
require all future lab projects to incorporate minimum standards for:
• Lab components (e.g.,
casework, fume hoods,
• Lighting and audiovisual.
• Ceilings and floors.
• Mechanical, electrical and
• Sustainability aspects.
The guidelines give architects a great deal of
flexibility for future lab renovations. Designers
can modify their upgrades based on what’s happening in that lab at that campus. They can also
adjust their design based on individual instructor preferences.
Consider a chemistry lab as an example.
Among the guidelines’ baseline standards are
one emergency eyewash shower and linoleum
flooring. But the size of the lab might require
two showers. The guidelines allow that. And if
the budget allows, the flooring can be upgrad-
ed to seamless rubber sheet rolls. Or, if tiles
are used, the designer can choose the color,
but must use the tile type specified in the
LaboratoryDesign|JAN|FEB 2014 21
An online survey of instructors and academic support personnel challenged
them to rank the most important features of a lab and describe an “optimal lab
space and the features that make it effective.”
continued on page 22
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