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Laboratory Design, Construction, and Renovation: Participants, Process, and Product
Owner Supervision and Institutional Surcharges. Many institutions and corporations have qualified and experienced in-house staff members who manage program, design, and construction processes, as well as maintenance and operations. The work that these staff members perform may be charged directly to the project on a fixed fee or hourly basis. Some organizations perform actual construction management, holding contracts from the general contractor and subcontractors and scheduling and coordinating construction activities. This is a major responsibility and requires a major commitment of personnel by the organization. The project budget should include the necessary salaries for the full-time staff.
Mock-up Construction. A mock-up of a typical laboratory space and even of adjacent areas, such as service corridors or laboratory support cores, is an extremely useful preconstruction tool. Laboratory mock-ups can be constructed as early as the design development phase or, more commonly, during the construction document phase of the design process. Mock-ups can be assembled with the actual full-size casework in the design configuration and finish materials with fittings, fixtures, and even pipes, conduits, and ducts. These are installed within a temporary shell constructed of lightweight enclosure materials, such as painted homosote or plywood. The mock-up can also be assembled in the actual building shell. Major architectural features in full scale, such as windows, doorways, lighting fixtures and ceiling heights, should be simulated to provide as realistic a model as possible.
The laboratory mock-up has two major functions. One is to allow early, and the most effective, feedback on the laboratory design, finishes, and material selections from future building occupants, health and safety professionals, and maintenance personnel. As many participants as possible should be encouraged to walk through the mock-up and comment on it. The comments should be used to improve the laboratory design. Mock-ups can be used for training operations and maintenance staff. Some mock-up components can be stored and reinstalled in the actual building.
The second function of a laboratory mock-up is to give a preview to construction contractors who will bid on or negotiate the construction cost. Inspection of the major components, materials, and quality of the construction offers important insight regarding the intent of the design and it supplements the design documents. Some clients have achieved measurable savings in bids offered by contractors when a mock-up was made available for investigation.
If the laboratory mock-up is delayed until the construction contract is let, very little change can be achieved economically in the original design, because the price is already fixed.
Fees. In addition to the actual cost of construction, clients must budget for service fees for design, construction, EH&S, and legal and financial professions, as well as for other nonconstruction costs. Basic architectural design fees do not