5 Things Every Lab Manager Should Know Before Renovating a Lab


Managing a research facility is not an easy task, and there is often no small amount of trepidation when it comes to planning and proposing a lab renovation. You may recognise the need for an overhaul of your existing facilities, but find yourself asking, “Where do I start?” Don’t worry, expert help is at hand. Here are a few tips that should assist you in the process of turning your current lab into a cutting-edge research powerhouse.

1. Know your objective

A list of clearly defined objectives will help enormously when decisions between various alternatives need to be made. Common objectives include safety, upcoming audits, workflow efficiency, and an aesthetics update to please prospective customers, investors, and staff. Additionally, being armed with a list of well-articulated reasons as to why the execs should approve the project will make the process of pitching your vision much easier.

2. Know your scope

Once you have your objectives you can set about differentiating between must-haves and nice-to-haves. Must-haves are the elements of the project that are essential to realising your stated objectives. For example, if modernizing your lab’s aesthetic is your objective, then everything that looks old must be replaced.

3. Establish your budget

It is vital that you pay the necessary attention to this aspect of the project. A quality pitch to execs will go a long way in having your budget approved, so always point out that efficient labs generate substantial value. Focus on that all important bottom line by highlighting the fact that a new lab can decrease operating costs, attract more customers, recruit better talent, retain talent longer, and reduce risk of injury and downtime.

4. Know what’s going in your lab

Once the renovation has started, it’s far more difficult to add elements that were overlooked, so it’s imperative to have a thorough understanding of what equipment will be needed, and who will be working with the equipment. At this stage, it is very helpful to analyse and predict workflow: e.g. “Technician 1 receives sample A and performs task B. Then technician 2 uses equipment C to perform task D, etc.”

5. Build your project team

Most lab renovations, even smaller scopes of work, require a professional team consisting of a project manager, designer, contractor and suppliers. For smaller projects, a single specialist may provide all of these services. Previous experience in lab construction and design is always a must. If possible, ask to speak to references, and try to see already completed work. A good service provider should be able to provide substantial value before you even hire them: giving free advice on timelines, materials, products, and designs.

Now that you have the basics, feel free to contact the industry leaders, Beryl Labs and learn more about the ins and outs of planning your lab renovation.

Contact us here, or give us a call on +27 (11) 646 7231