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Laboratory Design, Construction, and Renovation: Participants, Process, and Product
are predesign or information gathering, architectural design, construction, and postconstruction. Although other methodologies for building facilities may be more expedient, the committee does not discuss them in this report because it believes that they are less likely to yield the desired attributes of good laboratory design.
Procedural guidelines for use throughout a construction or renovation project are also described in Chapter 2. Because of the number of participants who should be involved and the number and types of issues that need to be considered throughout the project, the design, construction, and renovation processes should be planned as carefully and thoughtfully as the laboratory facility itself. Essential procedures include implementation of a rigorous decision-making process, identification and engagement of the necessary participants for each phase of the project, and establishment of formal lines of communication and authority among these participants. The architectural design phase should include a mechanism for verifying the completeness and accuracy of all design and construction documents. In the construction phase, a procedure for strict control of the budget and of change orders should be established. Finally, before the project is completed, assurance that the laboratory was built and will operate as planned should be secured through building commissioning, and a plan for the future maintenance and operation of the laboratory building should be established through an owner stewardship plan. Throughout all phases, a single individual in each group should be identified as a primary point of contact and should be responsible for all communication among the client, design, and construction groups.
The goal of the predesign phase is to identify the project's scope and budget as well as all issues that could influence the subsequent design/documentation phase. Although predesign is often slighted in project budgets, experience has shown that its successful completion enhances the probability that the laboratory construction or renovation project will be completed within the prescribed schedule and budget. Sufficient funds should be allocated for this vital phase.
In the design/documentation, construction, and postconstruction phases most of the work is conducted by the design and construction groups. It is essential, however, that the members of the client group remain actively involved to ensure that the program requirements are being met, to control changes in the scope of the project, and to carefully review all design and construction documents. Although it is important for all projects, careful review of all construction documents is essential for mandatory low-bid projects, because in this situation only that which is specified in the contract documents will be built. It is also essential that the procedures developed at the outset to enhance and regulate communication be rigorously adhered to in order to maximize productive communication between different contractors and subcontractors and to minimize the number of contractor-initiated change orders.