while to include a public area for posters or other displays that inform visitors of the work going on in the laboratory facility. Some buildings contain a small museum or other organized display area. At the least, many buildings provide areas for the display of current posters from meetings, increasing collegial understanding within the building. Posted directories, possibly including photographs, are often useful, as is signage that makes it easy to find personnel and facilities.

Aesthetic Environment. Planners should give thought to color schemes and light levels beyond minimal standards. Appropriateness of specific task lighting should be discussed with the users. A landscape plan that provides enjoyable plantings and furniture that encourages outdoor gatherings should be sought, if appropriate. Window treatments should be pleasing but practical, and a plan to include artwork in the building should be considered (for example, some university museums lend paintings and sculptures to buildings).

Access from Outside. It is usually necessary to include a parking plan. If appropriate, efforts should be made to ensure handy connections to other transportation options, such as easy access to bus stops or other forms of mass transit, and adequate bicycle parking.

Pollution Prevention. Planners should formulate a plan for convenient removal of the different kinds of waste likely to be generated in the facility. They should determine if there is an institutional practice (or even facility) in place for shared use of used and unused reagents, and if there is a recycling plan. Laboratory waste regulations, management, and storage are discussed in Chapter 3.

Equal Access. As mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act, the needs of physically impaired users must be addressed. Often early planning with users' input can meet this requirement without incurring excessive extra costs or compromising the effectiveness of the project.


Successful siting, construction, and use of a new laboratory building require effective communication and information exchange with the surrounding community, just as they do with the internal stakeholders in the process. Neglect of the community's concerns and opinions may create delays, increased costs, and, in a worst-case scenario, laboratories that cannot be occupied (for an example of such a case in San Francisco, see Piller, 1991).

The construction of laboratories has not usually encountered the same level of neighborhood and environmental objections as have other projects—for instance, hazardous waste facilities, power plants, or low-income housing (Popper,

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