structed. Install ground-fault circuit interrupters near sinks and wet areas.

   Assess and provide for emergency power needs.

   Where possible, install chilled water loops for equipment requiring cooling. Chilled water loops save energy, water, and sewer costs.

9.B.8 Americans with Disability Act: Accessibility Issues Within the Laboratory

Title 1 of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 requires an employer to provide reasonable accommodation for qualified individuals with disabilities who are employees or applicants for employment, unless doing so would cause undue hardship. The design team and the owner are responsible for identifying what reasonable accommodations should and can be made to meet ADA guidelines or requirements.

In addition, some school systems and municipalities require a minimum number or percentage of accessible work areas in teaching laboratories. Accessible furniture, including laboratory chemical hoods, are readily available from most suppliers. The American Chemical Society has an excellent resource available online or in print, Teaching Chemistry to Students with Disabilities: A Manual for High Schools, Colleges, and Graduate Programs (ACS, 2001).

It is prudent to provide barrier-free safety showers and eyewash units for all laboratories. Figure 9.2 illustrates the specifications for barrier-free emergency equipment, according to ANSI 117.1-1992, “Accessible and Usable Building Facilities.”

Additional accommodations will likely need to be made individually, depending on the special needs of the researcher. Partnering with the researcher, supervisor, and a laboratory safety professional will help determine the extent of the accommodations.

For wet laboratories, service animals should either have a place outside the lab or an area within the laboratory that is accessible without the animal having to traverse areas where chemicals or other hazardous materials could be present at floor level, including spills.

9.B.9 Older Facilities

Aging facilities can present multiple challenges. As materials of construction begin to degrade, the safety and environmental provisions of the facility often degrade as well. Although some equipment and materials may continue to function well for many years, modern alternatives may offer better safety and environmental sustainability features.

For older facilities, it is important to have a strong operations and maintenance program that monitors and maintains plumbing, ventilation, and structural components. Nonetheless, as individual laboratories or spaces are renovated for new uses or upgrades, there are opportunities for improving and modernizing building systems.


FIGURE 9.2 Specifications for barrier-free safety showers and eyewash units.

Depending on the location of the laboratory building, there may be requirements for bringing the entire building up to current building codes and standards once a certain percentage of the building is under renovation. These code requirements may include fire protection systems, accessibility, plumbing, ventilation, alarm systems, chemical storage restrictions, and egress issues.

With rising interest in energy conservation, there have been numerous studies and instances of retrocommissioning of laboratories. The focus is generally

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