When designing a lab or life sciences facility, every single element needs to be carefully considered to make sure it won’t interfere with the important work being done there. Can the casework withstand the chemicals that will be used in experiments? Will typical floor vibrations interfere with the equipment? How can we reduce slip and trip hazards to protect the employees? Luckily, the questions that arise regarding flooring for lab and life sciences environments are covered thanks to SelecTech. They’ve put together a checklist for replacing your laboratory floor that covers everything from operations and installation to aesthetics and maintenance. We’ve pulled out a few of their considerations to explore how raised access floors can make the process of selecting flooring for your life sciences environment even easier.
Do you need a seamless floor for your lab?
Many labs work with ultra-sensitive materials and biohazards and a seamless floor is essential. This can come in the form of an epoxy or flooring that comes in sheets. This will protect beneath the surface of the floor from penetration from dangerous chemicals and germs.
A seamless floor finish is essential for safety purposes and avoiding trip hazards in lab environments. Thanks to SelecTech, that seamless finish is achievable in a tile option that also offers slip-resistance, static dissipation, a watertight seal and a wide range of colors and textures. When you combine their tile floor finish with a raised access floor, you can enjoy the added benefits of accessibility and flexibility to futureproof the space and prepare for unforeseen changes.
Do you require the floor to be portable for reconfigurations or future moves?
Expansions, downsizing or relocation to a new facility are just some of the reasons why companies want a flooring they can move. When you choose a glue-down option for flooring, you sacrifice portability. Glued down tiles can’t and shouldn’t be removed and used again. There are flooring products available that utilize an interlocking system so flooring can be moved should your lab or clean room need move to another location.
Reconfigurability is extremely important in labs and life sciences facilities and by pairing SelecTech flooring and raised access floors, reconfigurability is easier than ever. Incubator tenants will frequently change depending on access to funding and long-term tenants will require flexibility to accommodate equipment upgrades and layout changes. These can all be made much easier, and with less downtime, with raised access floors with Underfloor Service Distribution and SelecTech finishes. Simply reconfigure the furniture and walls to your liking, or to the liking of your new tenant, and reroute the services under the floor to meet the new layout. Your layout is no longer limited by the location of wall outlets or overhead service distribution. And with SelecTech, you can lift their floor tiles to access the underfloor plenum to maintain that accessibility without losing the waterproofing or static dissipation their floor finishes provide.
Does the underlying concrete pass moisture tests?
If beneath your existing flooring there is concrete, moisture could be an issue and will need to be checked first. Particularly, if the flooring you’re considering needs to be glued. In that scenario, it’s also not advisable to glue the new floor onto the old floor. It should be installed onto the underlying concrete. If you are planning on using interlock flooring, first test the old flooring for asbestos. Removing flooring with asbestos is a very detailed process. Areas of the floor need to be sectioned off with plastic as air pressure is used to contain any dust.
If you’re utilizing SelecTech flooring on top of raised access floors, moisture in the underlying concrete is not an issue. SelecTech’s floor tiles can be installed over any of our raised access floor panels without the need to test for moisture or asbestos or wait for a standard 90-day cure period for the concrete slab prior to installation. Additionally, raised access floors provide a level installation surface, so any need for leveling compounds would be eliminated.
Raised access floors and SelecTech floor finishes address many of the flooring issues that can arise in labs and life sciences facilities. Waterproofing, flexibility, static control, vibration maintenance, reconfigurability and access to services are just some of the issues these products can resolve. For more information about raised access floors and life sciences facilities, visit https://www.tateinc.com/en-us/sectors/life-sciences or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Portions of this article were taken with permission from SelecTech’s Checklist for Replacing your Laboratory Floor E-Book. You can download the full E-Book here: https://files.constantcontact.com/37a179c3301/9e2139e7-2679-433e-b07b-763f3c5584d6.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0EgBgoFpMegwFSWeHSFfocRrmXUhD_zq6x4IF8T6La-D5tgoLqK0mqCWc