Published February 20, 2015 on labdesignnews.com
In this month’s column for Lab Design News we explore what flexibility in labs has come to mean using two project examples; the Skolkovo University Institute of Science and Technology and Harvard University’s Sherman Fairchild Renovation.
Flexibility in research laboratories has been a universal goal in recent years. Components that contribute to flexibility include laboratory casework systems and utility connections, zoning specific areas of a building and programming. In many situations flexibility is solely focused on the solutions possible within the typical laboratory area vs. a more holistic look at the larger view of the research ecosystem. The provision for shared facilities and highly specialized core facilities is a key component of defining the criteria for the edges minimum level of flexibility that a laboratory must achieve. The research performed in these facilities often drive the necessary infrastructure associated with a lab to higher levels. Core facilities furnish cutting edge technologies, technical support services, high end instrumentation and education, all of which is essential to today’s research. By segregating these facilities into specialized areas, the level of services required in the remaining laboratory space is reduced. The challenge then becomes the interconnection of these core facilities to the more typical research space.
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