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Laboratory Design, Construction, and Renovation: Participants, Process, and Product
materials. They should explore design elements, such as storage or workspace, that will make maintenance of the collection easier.
Rest Rooms. Rest-room design should go beyond code considerations to ensure that the restrooms will be convenient and in locations deemed fair and accessible to all. Whether there is interest in, and/or a need for, a shower room(s) in the building, should be determined.
Corridors. Corridors should be sensibly scaled to make passage comfortable, but not so large as to encourage future fire code violations, such as use of the extra space for inappropriate storage or to place furniture. This situation illustrates the potential pitfall of a design feature that appears attractive at first but later becomes a nuisance. Long corridors should be avoided and, if possible, natural light should be provided to each major corridor.
Security. Interior and exterior lighting plans should be developed that are adequate for secure passage after dark. Outside pathways should be safe at all times. Additional items that must be addressed include a keying plan, with a hierarchical system of passkeys; plans to make the building both secure and accessible to the users; and, depending on the building context, possibly other, extraordinary provisions for added security.
Maintenance. Planners should seek surfaces, materials, and fixtures for both laboratories and offices that are easy to maintain, because many institutions have inadequate budgets for long-term maintenance. Although more expensive, it may be worth considering longer lasting, easily cleaned wall finishes, especially in laboratories. Planners should ensure that light fixtures can be reasonably maintained and take into account the daily needs of the maintenance staff.
Externally Focused Issues
The Community. The needs and concerns of affected neighbors must be addressed. It is therefore important to include discussions with relevant people about the final impact of a laboratory building or renovation project on both institutional and external neighbors. Issues to keep in mind include traffic congestion, the possibility of jealousy or envy of the new facility felt by other members of the institution, pollution, and any potential misunderstanding (occasionally fear or mistrust) of the facility's function, hazards, and aesthetic fit. Ways to engage the community are discussed below in the section "Community Relations."
Public Identity/Outreach. Depending on the mission of the institution and the amount and kind of traffic entering from outside the building, it may be worth-