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Laboratory Layout Considerations

Here is a basic set of considerations for a safe and efficient laboratory layout. It is not intended to be a comprehensive listing, but we have found it to be helpful in the review of any laboratory layout. It can also identify shortcomings in final design elements. Consult your representative for specific review and consultation.

Student Workstations:
• Recommend a maximum of four students per workstation for proper observation

Storage/Prep Areas:
• Prep area should be adequate in size and secure as lockable area
• All laboratory refrigerators should be spark free and appliances should be grounded

Chemical Storage Areas:
• Chemical storage should be away from students and secure
• Adequate space for segregating chemicals based on reactivities must be provided
• Separate acid storage, flammable storage, and corrosive storage cabinets should be provided
• Lockable cabinet for poisons should be provided

Safety Areas:
• Eyewash station and safety shower should be within 25 feet of all student workstations
• Safety shower should be within 50 feet of all student workstations
• Fire blankets and extinguishers should be placed within 50 feet of all student workstations
• Ventilation should be adequate for the room including exhaust fans as necessary

• Each student workstation should have necessary utilities including electricity, gas, and hot and cold water
• Centralized safety shutoff should be accessible and labeled for electricity, water, and natural gas
• Telephone or communication system (phone or intercom) should be readily accessible
• Large sinks (a minimum of 16" x 20") should be provided

Traffic Flow:
• Every room (including prep rooms) should have minimum of two exits
• Fume hood should be placed on an outside wall to minimize ducting to outdoors
• Fume hood should not be placed near doorways or main traffic aisles for proper traffic flow and safety
• Doors should open outward

• Lab ventilation should be a minimum of 4 exchanges per hour
• Chemical storage should be a minimum of 6 exchanges per hour
• Purge fan/exhaust fan should be present to vent smoke and fumes rapidly to the outdoors