Growth in Laboratory Design: Mobility, Sustainability, and a Reflection of How We Think
It wasn’t long ago that fixed cabinetry, casework, benches, storage cabinets, and tables were built for a specific space, with no intention to be moved. But today laboratories are beginning to reflect an evolution in how scientists think- on their toes and forever changing. As laboratory workers begin to embrace the art of working as a team, to keep up with the eminent demand in discovery and innovation, it’s more important than ever for the design of workspace to adapt. We’ve seen similar shifts in office design as well, think open floor plans and community work benches that companies like Google and Houzz are revered for. Society has picked up on the fact that through team work innovative discoveries are tangible. Companies have grown to realize that we desensitized from the world around us to do technology. In order to keep your employees engaged, the space they work in must reflect the fluidity they crave. This means designing desks so that employees can stand and respond to e-mails. Goodbye cubicles and hello community workrooms.
Not how your company operates thus far? Maybe changing the design of your workspace is just the kick in the caboose you need! May you be inspired by the four biggest trends in laboratory design that have come about in the last decade:
Laboratory furniture and work benches are now on wheels. Why? Because we are maximizing productivity. In order to truly maximize our workspace lab furniture must be flexible enough to move through the space like scientists do. Mobile designs offer a durable yet flexible product that allows you to access tools and perform experiments in a safe, organized, and in the most efficient manner. Another reason we are seeing a shift to mobile designs in laboratories is because of the forever changing demands of safety within a lab. This will allow your company to meet new challenges and that’s why its more effective than anything permanent you can invest in. Modular systems eliminate the need of reconstruction and give you the ability of incorporating electrical and other plug and play services. This will give your lab the best possible work flow and help experiments, research, and your employees thrive.
This has come about in two ways, we have become a more aware and knowledgable society interested in preserving energy. With that interest comes an abundance of research at our fingertips (thank you Google) to illustrate how we can reduce consumption and help the environment. The second part of this interest and shift to sustainable laboratories is monetary. High-tech laboratories of today consume a plethora of air and power so sourcing companies that go the extra mile to ensure energy saving devices is worthwhile. At Genie Scientific we utilize variable air volume systems with fume hoods (VAV). While Genie does not provide a VAV system, we work alongside HVAC contractor’s to provide VAV ready hoods.
Lab are growing to be open floor plans with low to no-panel workstations. They are moving away from industrial spaces and moving towards a more homey and practical work environment. Laboratories aren’t recluse anymore they bleed into office and conference room space so that they can show off the innovation. Some companies have build rock climbing walls, created space for their workers to drink coffee and have a comfortable place to sit while doing so. All of this promotes a culture that celebrates work and pleasure, community and culture, convenience and comfort.
Another significant change seen in laboratory design is the integration of multiple fields within a lab. Not only do labs and office space collide but so do the subjects they are researching, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, transitional medicine- wet & dry labs. The co-mingling culture helps people working in any field thrive through sharing ideas and collaborating.
The millennial generation has really thrown the world for a loop, they were disinterested in getting their license, more interested in living at home longer, and now they’re even changing the way that we interact in a workspace. But in a world where we communicate with loved ones far too often via text messages, rather than sharing important news face to face, it is refreshing to see a shift in our want to be apart of a community again. Our want to strip down the walls the stand in between us, our want to stand on two feet and move throughout a given space, this want is what allows science to flourish. We are proud to design, manufacture, and install laboratory equipment that serves this higher good.