Lab Relocation Glossary

From planning and construction to equipment handling and site transition, ZAGENO has compiled definitions for over 50 terms related to lab relocations and moves in this helpful glossary.

Construction and Infrastructure

Documentation and Planning

Environmental Considerations

Equipment Handling and Maintenance

Inventory Management and Space Optimization

Logistics and Transportation

Regulatory Compliance and Safety

Vendor, Supplier, and Landlord Relations

Construction and Infrastructure


Accessibility for individuals with disabilities in the new location, including wheelchair ramps and accessible restrooms.

Build-Out Permitting

Obtaining necessary permits from regulatory authorities for construction activities, ensuring compliance with building codes and regulations.

Clear Heights

The unobstructed vertical distance between the floor and the ceiling in a lab space, crucial for accommodating ventilation systems, utilities, and the safe movement of personnel and equipment within the laboratory environment.


Infrastructure suitability for specialized equipment and machinery.

General Contractors

Construction professionals responsible for overseeing and managing all aspects of a building project, including coordinating subcontractors and ensuring adherence to plans and specifications.

MEP Engineering

Encompasses the design and implementation of Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing systems within a building or facility, ensuring efficient operation and integration of essential infrastructure such as heating, cooling, lighting, power distribution, and plumbing.

Read: How to Prevent the 10 Most Common Lab Move Pitfalls

Documentation and Planning

Contingency Planning

Preparing for unforeseen events or challenges that may arise during the relocation process, such as equipment damage or delays in transportation.

Data Backup and Recovery

The process of backing up electronic data and ensuring its secure transfer to the new location, as well as implementing procedures for data recovery in case of unexpected loss or corruption during relocation.


The creation and maintenance of records, such as packing lists, inventory logs, and validation reports, to track the progress of the relocation process.

Feasibility and Construction Narratives

Assessing the suitability of a potential building for housing laboratory activities and identifying any issues that may need to be addressed during the construction phase.

Lab Relocation

The process of moving laboratory equipment, instruments, materials, and personnel from one location to another.

Lab Relocation Specialist

A professional or group experienced in coordinating and overseeing the relocation of laboratory facilities. They manage various aspects of the relocation process, including inventory assessment, equipment packing and transportation, regulatory compliance, safety protocols, and coordination with vendors and contractors.

New Site Start-Up

Initiating the operations of the new laboratory facility, including staffing requirements, supply inventories, and establishing procurement processes.

Risk Assessment

The evaluation of potential hazards and risks associated with the relocation process, including safety considerations for personnel and equipment.

Tenant Support and Services

Maintenance, repairs, and support services provided by the landlord or property management at the new location.

Value Engineering

Identifying cost-effective alternatives that meet project requirements while reducing overall expenses, often discussed during the pre-construction phase.

Read: 9 Steps to a Successful Move

Environmental Considerations

Cold Chain Management

The specialized handling and transportation of temperature-sensitive materials, such as biological samples or reagents, to maintain their integrity and viability during relocation.

Environmental Monitoring

The assessment of environmental conditions, such as temperature, humidity, and air quality, in the new laboratory location to ensure optimal conditions for sensitive equipment and experiments after relocation.


Implementing environmentally friendly practices, such as recycling packing materials and reducing waste, during the lab relocation process.

Read: Why Biotech Labs are Going Green

Equipment Handling and Maintenance

Cryogenic Storage Transfer

The careful transfer of samples stored at ultra-low temperatures to minimize the risk of sample damage or thawing during relocation.

Fume Hood Decommissioning

The process of safely shutting down and deactivating fume hoods, including disconnecting utilities and sealing ductwork, before relocation to prevent the release of hazardous chemicals.


The process of setting up and assembling laboratory equipment and instruments in the new location according to manufacturer specifications.

Instrument Calibration

The adjustment or verification of laboratory instruments to ensure accurate and reliable measurements before and after relocation.

Lab Move Insurance

Coverage for potential damages or losses incurred during the relocation of laboratory equipment, materials, and supplies, offering financial protection against unforeseen events such as accidents, breakage, or theft during transit or handling.


The verification process to ensure that laboratory equipment and instruments are functioning properly after relocation.

Read: The Real Cost of Relocating Your Lab: How to Budget for a Lab Move

Inventory Management and Space Optimization

Chemical Inventory Management

The tracking and documentation of chemical inventory, including hazardous materials and controlled substances, to ensure compliance with safety regulations and prevent spills or leaks during relocation.

Inventory Management

The process of cataloging and documenting all laboratory items before, during, and after relocation to ensure nothing is lost or damaged.

Lab Equipment Inventory

A comprehensive list or database documenting all equipment, instruments, and apparatuses present in the lab, as well as a wish list for any new equipment to be incorporated into the new laboratory space.

Lab Supply Replenishment

The process of restocking laboratory materials, consumables, and equipment necessary for operations at the new facility.

Legacy Site Decommissioning

The process of safely discontinuing operations, dismantling equipment, and returning the previous laboratory site to a safe and environmentally sound condition through decontamination, inspections, and regulatory compliance measures.

Long-lead Equipment

Essential machinery or instruments that require a lengthy procurement process due to factors such as customization, specialized manufacturing, or limited availability, often necessitating early ordering to ensure timely project completion.

Space Planning

The process of determining the spatial requirements of a laboratory facility, including equipment inventory, room sizes, and quantities, to ensure an efficient and functional layout.

Space Program

The outcome of space planning, a strategic plan that optimizes workflow, safety, and efficiency, considering factors such as research needs, equipment requirements, and regulatory compliance. It encompasses the layout of benches, equipment, storage areas, and workstations.

Read: From Incubator to Independence: 5 Considerations for Biotechs Transitioning to Labs of their Own

Logistics and Transportation

Change Orders

Modifications or alterations to the original construction plans or contracts, which may impact the budget or timeline of the project.

Cold Storage Unit

Refrigerated storage equipment used for preserving temperature-sensitive materials or samples in laboratory settings.

Customs Clearance

The process of obtaining necessary permits and documentation for the international transportation of laboratory equipment and materials across borders during relocation.

Hazardous Materials Moves

Relocating substances that pose risks to health, safety, or the environment, requiring specialized handling and transport to ensure compliance with regulations.

Physical Move Planning and Execution

Organizing and conducting the physical relocation of laboratory equipment and supplies to the new facility, involving coordination with experienced movers and ensuring proper handling of critical and sensitive equipment.

Post-relocation Support

Assistance and support provided to laboratory personnel in adapting to the new environment and resolving any issues that may arise after relocation.


The movement of laboratory equipment and materials from the old location to the new location, often involving coordination with transportation companies.

Specialized Equipment Handling

The careful handling and transportation of large or delicate laboratory equipment, such as centrifuges, mass spectrometers, or electron microscopes, using specialized lifting equipment or techniques during relocation.

Read: Lab Supply Purchasing: Everything You Need to Know

Regulatory Compliance and Safety


Adherence to relevant regulations and guidelines governing the relocation of laboratory equipment and materials, including safety, environmental, and biosecurity regulations.


The process of removing or neutralizing contaminants, such as biological agents or hazardous chemicals, from laboratory equipment and surfaces before relocation.

Electrical Safety Inspection

The inspection of electrical systems and outlets in the new lab location to ensure compliance with safety standards and regulations before installing and powering up equipment.

Hazardous Material Handling

The safe handling, packaging, and transportation of hazardous materials, such as chemicals or radioactive substances, in compliance with regulatory requirements during relocation.

Regulatory Compliance Verification

The verification of compliance with relevant regulations and guidelines, such as OSHA, EPA, or FDA regulations, in the new laboratory location before resuming operations after relocation.

Safety and Security Features

The new facility’s inclusion of fire suppression systems, emergency exits, first aid facilities, surveillance cameras, access control systems, and compliance with safety standards and regulations.

Waste Management Plan

The development of a plan for proper disposal or recycling of laboratory waste, including hazardous materials, packing materials, and obsolete equipment, generated during the relocation process.

Read: 5 Lab Move Triggers: Signs a Move Is In Your Near Future

Vendor, Supplier, and Landlord Relations

Contracts and Procurement

Finalizing agreements with contractors and vendors for construction materials, equipment, and supplies needed for the new laboratory space.

Landlord Move-Out Requirements

Conditions specified in the lease agreement regarding the restoration of the leased space to its original condition upon vacating the premises.

Lease Negotiations and Execution

The process of negotiating terms and conditions with the landlord of a potential building for the new laboratory facility and finalizing the lease agreement.

New Vendor Set Up

Process of creating and formalizing a contractual or business relationship with a vendor that has not been previously engaged by an organization. This involves vendor evaluation, negotiation of terms and conditions, vendor account set up, and establishing communication channels for procurement and service delivery. New vendor set up ensures that organizations have access to a diverse range of suppliers and resources to meet their operational needs effectively.

Learn more

Lab Supply Marketplace

A platform that simplifies and automates lab supply purchasing, offering a vast range of supplies from a wide supplier base, providing easier product identification, competitive pricing, streamlined ordering processes, and simplified billing.

Learn more

Vendor Coordination

The coordination with equipment vendors and service providers to schedule maintenance, calibration, or installation services before and after relocation to minimize downtime and ensure smooth operations.

More Lab Relocation Resources

Lindsey Fitzgerald, ZAGENO Senior Account Executive, and Nathan Foorman, Foorman Facilities Advising Founder & Principal Consultant 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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