to ensure that the facility can be built and occupied. EH&S issues influence every major decision—from site selection to suitability of the building for occupancy. Further, careful attention to these issues is important in interactions with the neighboring community, which may be passionately concerned about the local impact of a chemical facility. Community relations issues are discussed in Chapter 1.
Careful consideration of EH&S issues will enable the project team to comply effectively with the complex and sometimes conflicting array of federal, state, and local regulations, codes, and ordinances that affect construction and operation of laboratories. It is important to recognize that codes and regulations governing the construction, renovation, and operation of laboratories and the undertaking of a building project by an institution have a common objective—to guarantee that the building and the environment surrounding it will be safe. This common ground can make it possible to reach practical solutions to problems that may arise in the highly intricate regulatory setting that governs laboratory design and construction. When there is conflict, the good judgment of knowledgeable individuals should prevail.
This section summarizes the legal bases for, and prudent responses to, the multiple regulations, codes, and ordinances that affect the construction and operation of laboratories. The committee emphasizes that every major building project team should have the support of EH&S professionals throughout all phases of the laboratory facility design and construction process. Expertise provided by these professionals will help the client team set health and safety objectives for the project, select appropriate engineering criteria to meet those objectives, and identify soundly conceived strategies for achieving compliance with regulatory requirements. EH&S professionals should also be involved in the commissioning process that precedes occupancy of a newly constructed or renovated facility to help ensure the operational integrity of all engineering systems that protect the occupational health and safety of the laboratory users. A knowledgeable member of the institution' s EH&S program should serve as a technical advisor to the client team. This person should be well informed about the program of requirements for the facility; have expertise in laboratory safety, environmental protection, and pollution control; be experienced in working with the cognizant regulatory authorities; and be familiar with facility engineering systems that can create effective, safe, and compliant laboratories.
Construction or renovation of a laboratory building is regulated mainly by state and local laws that incorporate, by reference, generally accepted standard practices set out in uniform codes. Box 3.1 lists the kinds of codes that affect most laboratory construction projects. The codes are usually administered at a municipal or county level but some locations may be administered at a regional