More and more, stakeholders in the research science sector are moving toward a more holistic approach to the built space. The reasons for this trend are manifold, but all relate to the notion that every aspect of the facility can impact the occupants, who are performing or supporting research. A holistic approach to designing the space can leverage improvements in occupant health, morale, and productivity in a way that positively impacts research outcomes; moreover, such an approach will avoid the negative impacts of one-size-fits-all laboratory designs on highly specialized research. This holistic approach will also frequently include attention to the laboratory and its support spaces as a "home for research" and, equally, a home for researchers. De-industrializing the research facility and making the space agreeable to the human occupants to the greatest extent possible should have a positive impact on researchers and their work. Properly planned and designed facilities can foster a productive collaboration within and among various research teams and cultivate a sense of community. What's more, they can also realize cost savings and cost-effectiveness by effectively managing operations, maintenance, and energy use. Finally, the highly effective research facility contributes to the advancement of science itself, providing a space wherein the research team can work optimally and produce breakthrough results.
After reading this article, you should be able to:
Discuss the lab project planning phase, including inputs related to site selection, occupancy, and codes and standards as they related to sustainable design.
Explain the requirements for green building and LEED as they apply to laboratory and research facilities.
List approaches to improve energy efficiency, daylighting, and the use of sustainable building products in labs.
Describe ways to make laboratory indoor environmental quality comfortable, healthful, productive, and inspiring, with positive effects on occupant health.