The art of laboratory design: challenges, opportunities and solutions for the pharmaceutical, chemical and biotech industries

The conversion or new construction of industrial laboratories is a significant step for most companies. This is because it is a step into the unknown and is typically intended to lay an important foundation for further growth.

However, a new laboratory is usually also associated with new requirements and high expectations. So that you know what to look out for and how we can support you in your planning and implementation, we have compiled the most important challenges and solutions for you here.

Challenges and opportunities in laboratory design

The planning and design of industrial laboratories in the pharmaceutical, chemical and biotechnology sectors is far more complex and multifaceted than one might initially think. This complexity arises not only from the scientific and technical requirements, but also from the need for environments that promote innovation, ensure safety and optimize operations.

Optimizing space and resources

Do you know this too? The existing laboratory layout often reflects an ad hoc mentality when it comes to growth and the acquisition of equipment and, in the long term, leads to inefficient workflows and a confusing working environment. When redesigning a laboratory that takes into account the needs of users and the demands of their work, it is important to move away from these historical realities. The key to this challenge is strategic planning of workstations, equipment and common areas to facilitate workflows and minimize time wasted switching between tasks.

For such a rethink of the lab setup, it is important to understand the dynamics of the lab to create a more logical and efficient workflow. By carefully placing tables, equipment and work areas in the lab, you can reduce bottlenecks, sometimes significantly, and improve collaboration between team members. This not only increases efficiency, but also contributes to an engaging and productive working environment.

Safety, energy efficiency and sustainability

When modernizing or building a new laboratory, the issues of energy efficiency, sustainability and safety present particular challenges. However, they also offer you unique opportunities to set new standards internally and for the industry.

Safety in laboratory environments is not just about regulatory compliance, but also about creating spaces that minimize risk to employees and the environment from the outset. Solutions, such as effective air extraction systems and containment measures, need to be integrated without compromising the functionality of the laboratory or the well-being of its users.

At the same time, the desire for greater sustainability requires a paradigm shift in the way laboratories are designed and operated. The aim is to use energy-efficient systems and sustainable materials that reduce the environmental footprint of the laboratory. Nevertheless, costs must not be driven up and scientific work must not be restricted. This is why you need to consider measures to optimize emissions and immissions right from the design stage.

Aesthetics and functionality

A balance between functionality and aesthetics is crucial when designing laboratory spaces that not only meet technical and safety requirements, but also provide an inspiring and pleasant environment for researchers and technicians.

Functionality is at the forefront of laboratory design, which means ensuring that the layout and equipment support efficient workflows, safety protocols and the specific requirements of scientific work. This includes the strategic placement of workstations, the seamless integration of technology and compliance with safety and accessibility standards.

However, functionality should not come at the expense of the aesthetics of the laboratory. This plays an important role in creating an environment that fosters creativity, collaboration and wellbeing. The challenge is to integrate these elements in a way that complements the functional requirements of the laboratory, such as ease of cleaning, durability of materials and flexibility to adapt to changing research needs.

By taking a holistic approach to laboratory design, it is possible to create spaces that inspire and motivate while being well-equipped for cutting-edge research and development.

Involving employees in the design process

To ensure that your laboratory meets the daily operational requirements and workflows of users, you need all available information. Because laboratories are not just about benches and equipment. They are dynamic environments in which work efficiency, communication and employee satisfaction play an important role. By involving employees in the design process, for example in workshops on laboratory equipment, you can make use of their collective knowledge and experience. This results in laboratory designs that are optimally adapted to the work processes and support employees according to their needs.

Shaping the laboratories of the future together with Infraserv

We know that dealing with the complex issues of modern laboratory design is no easy task. That's why we want to offer you the support you need to achieve your goal of an optimally planned laboratory more quickly and easily.

With our many years of experience in the planning and operation of industrial laboratories, we can offer you a comprehensive service package tailored to the diverse requirements of laboratory design and operation. From initial consultation to final implementation, Infraserv's expertise covers every aspect of the process, ensuring that labs are not only functional, but also optimized for efficiency and productivity.

For example, we rely on a multi-stage design process that uses proven methods and tools from the initial layout to the final fit-out. With this comprehensive approach, we ensure a seamless and efficient design phase that takes into account both current needs and future expansions.

Through workshops and consultations, we involve all stakeholders in the design process and thus integrate your company-specific processes and the knowledge of your employees. This participatory approach ensures that the laboratory equipment is perfectly tailored to the individual needs and workflows of the users. At the same time, we keep an eye on compliance with guidelines and regulations for you and navigate you through the complexity of laboratory design. However, the holistic approach to laboratory design does not only include legal requirements. It also extends to the aesthetic design of the laboratories, so that functionality and design merge seamlessly to create inspiring and motivating spaces.

And to ensure that laboratory design is not just theory, but that you can also experience it in practice, we offer the opportunity to experience different types of laboratories, equipment variants and laboratory layouts live at our Höchst site. Combined with the expertise of our Infraserv lab specialists, you can make an informed decision and find solutions that are precisely tailored to your needs.

The complexity of designing industrial laboratories in the pharmaceutical, chemical and biotechnology industries requires a deep understanding of the scientific work as well as the requirements and needs of the employees who carry out this work. With our comprehensive range of services, we help you master the challenges of laboratory planning while creating the conditions for a safe, efficient and innovation-promoting environment. With Infraserv's expertise, you can ensure that your labs are not only functional, but also create the conditions to push the boundaries of scientific discovery.