eryone to ask for the best, most effective
building imaginable, without regard for
BUDGET COMES LATER
Don’t compromise with yourself and
ask for less at these initial stages. Budget
will dictate that you will generally get
less than you asked for but with the right
architects and through creative problem
solving, compromise can lead to success.
Ask for everything you want at the beginning and evaluate from that level when
the budget is taken into account.
For example, in the programming
stage, you need to capture every hope and
dream to create the best vision document
possible. Clearly defining all of the stakeholders’ goals at this stage will result in a
better overall project. Creativity during
programming and open discussion can
lead to shared spaces and opportunities
that individuals may not readily see at the
DEFINE BUDGETS, GET TOUGH ON
In recent years, public allocations and
private donations for academic facilities
have declined, so budgets for construction projects have become more difficult
to come by.
Indeed, many academicians have expressed concerns about finding adequate
financing to move research forward.
There are ways of compensating for
problems related to funding shortfalls.
For instance, at different points in the
economic cycle, a dollar will buy more
or less material and labor. By staying in
touch with those cycles, it’s occasionally
possible to buy more for fewer dollars.
Careful, though, your organization will
have to make decisions about these issues
in a timely fashion to take advantage of
In addition, an experienced architectural
and construction management team will review budgets and costs in advance of every
regular meeting and present their findings.
Regular reviews make it possible to spot potential cost overruns during design—when
value engineering can bring costs back into
line, before construction begins.
In connection with this, architects experienced with lab design and construction can also help to keep costs in line by
drawing on past projects. Some maintain
useful records of costs connected to various kinds of labs and lab infrastructure.
Such records can prove invaluable.
WHY CONSIDER FLEXIBLE DESIGN?
The debate over flexible science and
technology in building design continues.
Individual researchers frequently
don’t want to change to a flexible system,
stating that their goal is to get to the conclusion of their research, not learn how to
use a new kind of lab.
Maintenance people have developed
good routines for keeping complex spaces
up and running. Developing another
routine seems daunting and could cause
downtime problems that no one wants.
These are all reasonable claims, but they
do not fit today’s realities of research.
The accelerating pace of technological
change has and will continue to make significant changes in lab design out of necessity,
and these changes are coming fast. For
instance, changes over the past five years
make the changes of the past 20 years look
In a practical example, technological
changes have reduced research time spent
working at a wet bench while increasing
time spent elsewhere using computer
models to work out conclusions.
Today, cloud computing is making the
computational side of research even more
economical. The amount of data that new
equipment is able to collect and analyze
requires much more computational capa-
Researchers are embracing these new technological research capabilities, but those changes come with space
challenges .Image: Tom Holdsworth
Creativity during programming and open discussion can lead to shared spaces and opportunities that individuals
may not readily see at the outset. Image: Tom Holdsworth
34 LaboratoryDesign|SEPTEMBER|OCTOBER 2015