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Laboratory Design, Construction, and Renovation: Participants, Process, and Product
To address process issues during the several phases of a laboratory construction or renovation project, the committee recommends the following actions:
Develop a planning and decision-making process. Planning should include all relevant participants. Decisions should not be revisited without cause.
Implement a predesign phase. Predesign, involving a design professional, maximizes end results.
Designate a single point of contact for each group. This individual will coordinate all information exchange within the group and with the other (client, design, and contractor) groups.
Maintain control of the budget. Detailed cost estimates should be completed and reviewed at the conclusion of each phase. A clear process for handling change orders should be developed before construction begins.
Establish a system for rigorous review and approval of documents. Design documents should be carefully reviewed and approved by the client group representative at the end of each phase.
Establish and implement a process for building commissioning. Building commissioning should include the production of operation and maintenance (O&M) manuals, updated construction documents ("as-builts") and drawings, systems testing, and training. There should also be a postoccupancy evaluation.
Owners should be good stewards. Beginning at the planning stage and continuing for the life of the laboratory facility, owners must provide adequate funding and staffing for operation and maintenance of the buildings.
Chapter 3, "Technical Issues," presents some of the basic elements that must be considered in the design, construction, or renovation of a laboratory facility, such as health, safety, environmental, and building regulations, design details, and cost considerations. Regulations, codes, and ordinances, which govern many highly specialized issues, will inevitably influence every major decision of the project, and so attaining compliance mandates the early and continuing involvement of EH&S professionals and the establishment of a working relationship with regulatory authorities. While it is possible to delegate design and cost control decisions to the design professional, the active participation of an informed client greatly enhances the probability that a superior laboratory facility will result. For example, multiple design alternatives may exist to satisfy particular laboratory requirements; before one is selected, each should be considered by the appropriate teams or committees of participants. It is advisable that each technical issue be considered and resolved early in the overall process, before