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Hazard Classifications for Laboratories

Andrew A. Dymek, PE, Newcomb & Boyd
In order to improve safety while reducing unneeded costs, laboratories need to be right sized. To do this, a classification system is needed to determine the correct level of safety and, from this, determine the correct criteria for design. There are many industry standards, which go unchallenged at the time of programming and design that have a large impact on first and operating costs for a laboratory. While all laboratories are not used equally, they are designed equally. High air change rates and non-recirculating air systems are common criteria for a "laboratory", but there are many cases where this criteria is wasteful if not needed for health safety. Conversely, there may be certain cases where the industry standards may not be safe enough. This presentation will review industry code and guideline standards and their results on design, and then propose a hazard classification system to right size laboratories.

Labs21 Connection:

At this time there are no classification systems. The presentation will discuss why we need classifications and how we can incorporate the Labs21 Approach.


Andrew Dymek, PE, earned his Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1985 and his Master of Science in 1986. During his 15 years with Newcomb & Boyd, he has developed particular expertise in the design of mechanical systems for laboratory and research facilities. His experience includes laboratory projects for EPA, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Miami, as well as numerous other Universities across the country. His work totals more than one million square feet and over 200 million in construction value.


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