The clinical laboratory is playing an increasingly important role in the field of healthcare and, accordingly, faces mounting pressure to maintain efficient workflows
and stay on the forefront of technology. A major factor that
influences a lab’s overall efficiency is lab design, which must
account for the various processes of the lab and rapid advances
Steve Palumbo, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, the Director of Science + Technology and Associate Principal at Tsoi/Kobus and
Associates (TK&A) of in Cambridge, Mass.; as well as Barbara
Carpenter, Associate Principal, and Laurie DaForno, AIA,
LEED AP BD+C, both designers from TK&A; share their
perspectives on current trends in clinical lab design.
FOCUS ON PROCESSES
Clinical lab design is very different from
research lab design, with a definite
focus on the sequence of operations,
processes and flow of the space.
“It’s really important as designers to understand what
all the different pro-
Chris Ertl, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
High-performance buildings often consume massive amounts of energy, and architects seek to provide their
clients with innovative savings solutions
for their operational costs. These solutions
are great for clients with new projects or
renovations on the horizon, but what about
clients whose current budgets don’t foresee
any new design work?
Research shows that there are several
low-cost, high-impact strategies that an
institution can implement to reduce a
building’s carbon footprint and improve
operational expenses—even without large-scale upgrades.
1. Shut the sash: Fume hoods are one of
the most energy-intensive types of equipment in a laboratory environment, but
significant savings can be achieved by keeping them closed when not in use. Consider
implementing a “Shut the Sash” awareness
program that rewards groups who most
consistently shut sashes when not in use.
The practice can save up to $2,000 annually
2. Save money on lighting: Eliminat-
ing lighting in spaces that don’t need full
lighting levels can save money. Reducing the
light levels in corridors is a good first step.
Within the labs, reducing ambient lighting
to 50 foot-candles at the bench, and using
is needed, should provide sufficient light
levels for most research activities. Finally,
while it may seem like a no-brainer, priori-
tize developing a culture where the last one
out always turns off the lights.
3. Start a freezer management program: In addition to being noisy, ultralow
temperature freezers use a lot of electricity
and release heat into the space they occupy.
Installing these freezers in central areas reduces the impact on the mechanical systems
servicing your labs.
Most long-term freezer samples can
be stored at -70 degrees C instead of the
standard -80 degrees C. This temperature
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Ten sustainable lab solutions to implement today
PLANNING FOR EFFICIENCY, FLEXIBILITY AND THE USE OF FULL-SCALE MOCK-UPS.
Trends in lab design