Safe Design Strategies for Chemical Users in Large Commercial Facilities

Brian Richard, Kirksey Architects

In a world where safety is the number one priority of most institutions world-wide, the complexities involved in laboratory facilities where chemical loading and incompatibilities of material or function and people are always of primary concern. Design proposals should keep safety at the forefront, while balancing the economics and practicality of commercial building construction. Often times, leadership requirements on lab projects dictate certain usage or construction typologies, which might be in conflict with existing business operational requirements, such as minimizing the quantity of on-site and in-use chemicals regulated by building code and NFPA. This presentation discusses strategic design decisions which help large users occupy their laboratory facilities in a safe manner without or by minimizing the chemical quantities within the laboratory areas to avoid hazardous areas and occupancies. The objective is to deliver a safe, sustainable, and easily maintained facility while balancing the objectives of the business needs and commercial investment to build.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify significant risks of operating a facility with large chemical quantities.
  • Understand the contradicting, complex requirements concerning NFPA and building code regarding chemical quantities.
  • Identify strategies for mitigating safety risk and operational uncertainty while complying with NFPA and common building codes, in regards to chemical management.
  • Identify the benefits of designing a safe, sustainable, and normal occupancy laboratory building.

Biography:

In a world where safety is the No. 1 priority Brian deals daily with the complexities involved in laboratory facilities where chemical loading is a primary concern. Brian's proposals keep safety at the forefront, while balancing the economics and practicality of commercial building construction. Brian Richard, AIA, NCARB, is an Executive Vice President and Science and Technology Practice Leader at Kirksey, where he serves as lab planner and team leader on a multitude of lab projects.

 

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