Engaging Laboratory Operations for Significant Improvements in
Laboratories differ from nearly all other facility types in that
they are designed to handle hazardous materials. In addition, under
the surface of experimentation and discovery, most laboratories
are required to facilitate material and supply chain management.
Done well, the results are invisible. Done poorly, no other design
feature can compensate for materials management deficiencies. This
presentation examines the impact of materials on project size, performance,
environmental compliance and design configuration. It demonstrates
a holistic organizational approach to materials management is necessary
to realize the greatest environmental savings. Specific recommendations
and areas for examination will be given to the audience for them
to apply to their own facilities or projects with the intent of
reducing materials use in labs, reducing facility storage and "warehousing"
costs, and improving control over supplies and hazardous wastes.
Based on at least two project case studies, we have found that
significant reductions can be made to the 10-15% of building area
dedicated to operations support space. The key methods for this
reduction is supply chain mapping, looking for delays and "warehouse"
stops, and just-in-time procurement, allowing the scientific customer
to utilize the supply vendor as the warehouse instead of the support
space or, worse, lab as storage area. We have found simple changes
in project planning and design changes to laboratory furnishings
can facilitate the improved performance described. The overall result
is a "right-sizing" of the project, reducing the use of
natural resources and resultant energy, and less expensive lab furnishings
for the necessary activity of materials management. A key finding
is the involvement of operations and procurement professionals in
the planning and design stages to determine how their methods and
needs can be synergistically merged with the requirements of the
- Minimize overall environmental impacts.
Materials management and supply chain tracking have great influence
on the overall environmental impact. Fewer materials are necessary
for smaller buildings, to be sure. There is also resulting energy
savings associated with a smaller footprint. But more importantly,
effective supply chain management can have a powerful cascading
effect to reduce the supply and waste burden of the modern laboratory.
This is a holistic approach at looking at the operational requirements
of labs and revamping them to translate to improved environmental
- Establish goals, track performance, and share results for continuous
This presentation shares uncommon ideas and results that have been
routinely overlooked in the planning and design of laboratory facilities.
It presents novel ideas that are readily applicable to labs for
immediate improvement in environmental monitoring of a site's hazardous
materials. Applied to the planning and design process, they have
the capacity to improve the environmental responsiveness of a lab
Joe Phillips is
one of CUH2A's senior advisors in research facility planning and
design. Nationally recognized for his expertise in this field, his
focus is on integrating the human activity of science and discovery
with the laboratory. A former research scientist and laboratory
director, Joe fully appreciates his client's financial, technical,
and operational needs, and how these requirements influence the
capital project process. His leading-edge project experience clearly
demonstrates this skill in the creation of safe, productive and
adaptable facilities that enhance the quality of life within the
A widely published author on laboratory and research facility planning
and design, Joe's expertise includes biological containment, product
discovery and development, biomedical research, and analytical services,
Joe also lead's CUH2A's sustainable design development of projects.
Recent publications include contributions to The Anthology of Biosafety,
Environmental Design & Construction, Pharmaceutical Engineering,
Today's Chemist, and Laboratory Design Newsletter. He earned his
B.S. in Chemistry from Bucknell University and M.Arch. from the
University of Colorado and has 15 years of experience in clinical
and forensic toxicology. He has been working with CUH2A on projects
worldwide since 1992.