The key to the perfect lab environment: Flexibility

22 June 2021 Tate
Tate Flexible Lab

When designing a lab environment, you must accommodate a variety of needs and futureproof the space to prepare for any unforeseen changes. What type of data collection will take place? How many lab benches, write-up desks and offices are needed? For incubator spaces, how can the initial design help prepare for eventual equipment and layout changes? All these questions need to be considered while managing access to lab gasses, plumbing and electrical services, without impacting the reliability of the data collection and without interrupting the lab’s day-to-day operations. The good news is that the solution to all these problems is the same: flexibility. And the key to flexibility is raised access floors. Tate’s Underfloor Service Distribution solution and raised access floors provide a high level of flexibility that allows you to address all these concerns and more to create the perfect foundation for your flexible lab environment.
To create a flexible lab environment, you need the ability to rearrange the space and introduce new equipment, desks and offices to change its functionality. Underfloor Service Distribution makes that fast and easy. With traditional service distribution, electric, data, plumbing and lab gases are routed in the walls and ceilings. This type of system limits your options for the facility’s layout and requires lab benches and desks to remain in place close to the services. With Underfloor Service Distribution, services are routed under the floor and supplied directly to each individual lab bench or desk, so you are no longer confined to the limitations of service placement. As the layout of your facility changes, the floor panels can easily be lifted and the services can be rerouted to accommodate the new layout. Instead of making your benches meet your services, your services will move to meet your benches wherever you place them. Add more lab benches, take out unused desks or bring in new equipment. The possibilities are endless.
A flexible lab environment with raised access floors and Underfloor Service Distribution is especially beneficial for incubator spaces or leasable lab space. With raised access floors, not only can you rearrange the space to meet the needs of each new tenant, but you can also easily add walls and partitions as needed to break up the space differently. Because these changes can be done quickly and easily, your downtime between tenants will be reduced and you can increase the profitability of the space. It’s also less expensive to make these changes with raised access floors since it doesn’t require core drilling or service specialists. In fact, much of the service infrastructure can stay in place with minor routing changes to accommodate the new layout. Raised access floors also come in various load ratings that can accommodate heavy lab equipment that comes and goes with each new tenant.
Lab spaces that take advantage of raised access floors from the beginning are better situated to prepare for unforeseen changes. Their flexibility will make them more attractive to potential tenants and the variety of floor finishes, including water resistant, waterproof and static dissipative, help keep the environment clean and safe. And since the services are accessed through the floor instead of the ceiling or walls, you can access them without working over active experiments and interrupting the lab’s daily operations. All these benefits make raised floors an obvious choice for lab environments and our engineering design support team can help you design your floor for vibration, seismic activity, acoustics, varying load requirements, finish selection and more. Email us at or call us at 1-800-231-7788 to get started.

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