Cutaway drawing of the LZ dark matter detector within the outer detector and water tank. Image: LZ collaboration
A Q&A about laboratory flooring
Laboratory Design spoke to John Gillham, AIA, an associate at E4H Environments for Health Architecture, about laboratory
flooring—what needs to be considered when
installing a new system, how to ensure sustainability, challenges faced with lab flooring and
other issues. www.e4harchitecture.com
Laboratory Design (LD): What is the
most pressing concern for suppliers when
providing laboratory flooring?
John Gillham (JG): The most pressing
concern for suppliers when providing
laboratory flooring is the minimization of
seams as well as durability.
LD: What can be done to ensure sus-
tainability/energy savings when install-
ing laboratory flooring?
JG: In order to ensure sustainability and
energy savings when installing laboratory
flooring, it is critical to make sure the area
is clear and can be properly vented especially during the installation process.
LD: What materials are most common-
ly used in lab flooring?
JG: We have seen that epoxy and resinous flooring is becoming more popular.
We have seen in E4H-designed facilities these materials are replacing vinyl
composite tile (VCT) flooring and sheet
LD: What measures are put into place if
lab floors need to be installed or renovat-
ed, but the lab staff needs to keep working
throughout the process?
JG: This is a difficult process, as clinical labs need to be operating 24/7. It is
almost impossible to replace existing
seamless flooring while maintaining lab
services (as there is often a multi-day cure
time). This makes selecting the appropriate and sustainable flooring system at the
onset of the project critical.
LD: Is there any new or upcoming tech-
nology in lab flooring that our readers
might find interesting?
JG: I have not heard of anything specific
about any new or upcoming technology in
lab flooring, but there are always constant
advances from companies like Stonhard
Inc. that specialize in making floors more
durable and dependable.
LD: What’s the biggest challenge when
it comes to providing lab flooring?
JG: The biggest challenge when it comes
to providing lab flooring is ensuring the
durability and maintenance of a vendor’s
product. In each facility E4H has designed,
we must ensure that the flooring will be
able to withstand spills, scrapes and be
resistant to all conditions that might take
place. Site-specific concerns must be considered when specifying a product; for
example, slab conditions, humidity levels,
chemicals that are being used within the
lab, etc. Finally, working with the GC and
installer to confirm proper installation and
informing the owner of the proper maintenance of the flooring per the manufacturer’s specifications is also crucial.
MaryBeth DiDonna is Editor of
Laboratory Design . Follow her on Twitter