LaboratoryDesign|SEP|OCT 2014 13
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ADVISORY COMMIT TEE
An advisory committee that’s consistently engaged from the very
early stages of a project is critical to the ultimate success of the design.
The group ideally should:
• Provide a wide range of experiences and viewpoints with an international perspective.
• Set standards and benchmarks for success.
• Commit to long-term perspectives.
FLEXIBLE LAB ENVIRONMENTS
Flexibility is at the forefront of lab design. It has earned some negative
connotations recently, as it can be seen as synonymous with expense. It also
may seem overly simplistic to suggest that a space that can “do anything”
is the answer to planning for the unknown. In reality, effective flexibility is
ultimately a quest for simplicity. For the last 15 years, Apple has dedicated
itself to the concept that simple solutions are the most elegant, sophisticated
and difficult to accomplish compared to complex ones. Flexibility and simplicity in lab design is no different.
To further understand flexibility and determine its appropriate usage,
it’s often useful to think in terms of scale. This suggests three separate
definitions: convertible, adaptable and adjustable. Convertible labs in
the largest-scale sense can change their entire program—from wet to
damp or dry or vice versa. An adaptable lab is one in which the program
remains the same, but the workflow and bench configurations can be
modified to suit the needs of the research or researchers. Adjustable environments are ones in which the benches, shelving or other systems can
be tweaked to accommodate new equipment or workstyles. Each scale
of flexibility has a corresponding up-front cost impact. Determining the
right usage requires a full lifecycle cost analysis that weighs future modification costs alongside initial investments.
TK&A worked extensively with JAX during the early project phases
to understand the organization’s priorities, mission and expectations
before beginning the process of designing the lab environment. By
recognizing JAX’s commitment to collaborative environments and convertibility, the design team was able create a series of metrics to validate
each design decision.
Rendering of wet lab with view to dry lab and collaboration corridor. Image:
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