Lab Operations | Managing the Lab | Lab Relocation

Lab Hunters: 10 Key Considerations for Evaluating New Lab Sites

While HGTV doesn’t have House Hunters: Lab Edition on their schedule — yet — you can still evaluate potential new lab locations like a pro. When assessing sites for your lab relocation, facilities operations expert Nathan Foorman recommends the following 10 considerations to ensure your final choice is the ideal fit for your lab’s new home.

  1. Location
    • Convenience. Is the location convenient and accessible for your team, clients, and collaborators?
    • Are there amenities nearby, such as restaurants, public transportation, and parking facilities?
  2. Size and Layout
    • Space. Is the space adequately sized to accommodate your lab equipment, workstations, storage, office, conferencing and collaboration needs, as well as support your infrastructure?
    • Layout. Does the layout allow for efficient workflow and organization within the labs and office areas?
    • Height clearance. Are the clear heights between floors sufficient to ensure acceptable ceiling heights within the labs, particularly once utilities and ventilation systems are installed? Note: Aim for a minimum of 14 feet clearance below the deck above for optimal space.
  3. Infrastructure and Utilities
    • Utility availability. Are utilities such as electricity, water, gas, HVAC, and internet connectivity readily available and sufficient for your lab operations? If not, what services might need to be augmented?
    • Infrastructure compatibility. Is the infrastructure compatible with the requirements of the specialized equipment and machinery you'll be utilizing?
  4. Zoning and Regulations
    • Zoning compliance. Does the space comply with zoning regulations and local ordinances for lab facilities?
    • Are there any restrictions or limitations on the type of research or activities allowed in the space?
  5. Safety and Security
    • Safety features. Does the building have adequate safety features, such as fire suppression systems, emergency exits, and first aid facilities?
    • Security measures. Are there security measures in place to protect the facility and its occupants, such as surveillance cameras and access control systems? If not, can they be easily added?
  6. Environmental Controls
    • Environmental conditions. Will the space be able to maintain suitable environmental conditions for your research, including temperature, humidity, and air quality, even after all your lab equipment is moved in?
    • Environmental hazards. Are there any environmental hazards or contaminants that could affect lab operations?
  7. Flexibility and Scalability
    • Flexibility. Is the space flexible enough to accommodate future growth and changes in your lab's needs?
    • Scalability. Are there options for expanding or customizing the space to meet evolving requirements?
  8. Accessibility and Accommodations
    • Accessibility. Is the space accessible to individuals with disabilities, including wheelchair ramps and accessible restrooms?
    • Accommodations. Are there accommodations for specialized equipment or facilities, such as cleanrooms or fume hoods?
  9. Cost and Budget
  1. Tenant Support and Services
    • Support services. Does the landlord or property management provide maintenance, security, repairs, and other support services for the space? If you are moving from an incubator or university, will you need to be responsible for ordering your lab supplies?
    • Shared spaces. Are there shared amenities or common areas that could benefit your lab, such as conference rooms or break areas?

With careful planning, a methodical approach, and taking advantage of best practices, you can identify a location that not only supports, but accelerates, your important research.

More resources for a successful lab relocation

Lindsey Fitzgerald, ZAGENO Senior Account Executive, and Nathan Foorman, Foorman Facilities Advising Founder & Principal Consultant, recently hosted biotech and pharmaceutical lab managers and procurement for a deep dive into lab relocation best practices in the webinar, 10 Pitfalls to Avoid When Moving Labs. Using insights gained from numerous moves, the webinar explored key steps for a successful, seamless move to a new lab space and how to avoid common budget-draining mistakes.

Watch the webinar: 10 Pitfalls to Avoid When Moving Labs Webinar

Read the free ebook: 10 Pitfalls to Avoid When Moving Labs ebook

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