BSA Lifestructures

Laboratory Spaces for Research and Development

David MillerJanuary 14, 2022

Every research program is unique. Design solutions must be tailored to the operations and characteristics of the research to be performed, while still offering flexibility to change and adapt to new research directions as they arise. BSA has designed thousands of square feet of laboratory space, including a high percentage of renovated lab space.

Our laboratory facility planners are an integral part of the design team from the outset of the project. We ask the right questions, speak the language of the instructor and researcher, and offer alternate solutions to common issues. Our laboratory design process begins with a modular approach with zoning, casework, and utility solutions to maximize a facility’s ability to respond to changing conditions over time.

Provide adaptable configurations

Fixed benches, suspended systems, mobile carts… all of one system, or a combination of all? Design must consider how and how often equipment, processes, and teams may change.

Support the work, wherever it is

Researchers no longer spend their entire day in their labs. Today’s technology allows them to set up tests and processes in their labs and to analyze the results remotely in their offices, in a break room, or in a collaboration area.

Adjust to technology

Technology is never standing still, especially in industries that specialize in discovery. Flexible space layouts allow researchers to adapt to the size requirement of new equipment more easily, without major renovations and without disruption to their daily research activities.

Through our experience, we know that characteristics of successful laboratories include:

  • A thorough understanding of the reason for the space and the methods behind the research.
  • Programmed and designed for efficient staff, work, and material flow to enhance the research to be
  • Designed for durability of finishes and equipment, with the ability to withstand laboratory chemicals and provide years of use.
  • A safe work environment with well-organized laboratories, properly located support spaces and equipment, and all required safety features.
  • A positive work environment for researchers and staff, which includes spaces for active and quiet work, collaboration, rest, and social areas.
  • Biosafety containment areas that meet NIH standards and are designed to provide positive air pressure and properly engineered and filtered exhaust systems.
  • If required, a healthy and controlled research animal environment that meets AAALAC standards and includes isolation from noise and vibration sources, limitation of potential cross-contamination, and protection from unsafe environmental conditions.