BOX 3.8 Elements of the Regulatory and Legal Environment Affecting Laboratory Renovation and Construction

• Laws

• Pedestrian access

—Clean Air Act

• Historic designation

—Clean Water Act

• Required permits

—Americans with Disabilities Act


• Zoning requirements


• Fire codes


• Access and parking requirements


for heating and cooling water, expansion of or upgrades to the central power plant and cooling towers may also be needed.

Zoning Laws, Codes, and Regulations Affecting Building Design and Site Selection

The zoning, permit, and regulatory process can influence the design, use, construction start-up, progress, and occupancy of the research laboratory facility. A laboratory building must comply not only with the laws, codes, and regulations to which any building must conform but also with additional legal and regulatory restrictions specific to laboratories and the work conducted within them. Many of the kinds of restrictions and considerations affecting the use and design of laboratory buildings are listed in Box 3.8, and some of these are discussed in the ''Environmental Health and Safety" section above in this chapter. Requiring permits is a routine aspect of the regulatory process. Building, occupancy, use, air rights, storm water, and sewage permits may all be required in a laboratory construction or renovation project.

Zoning regulations often dictate the acceptable use of the proposed building site and can place severe restrictions on the siting and design of a laboratory building. They may restrict or regulate the building height, footprint size, users' parking, service requirements, building appearance, landscaping, and even the intended use of the building. Zoning regulations and building codes governing the use, storage, and disposal of potentially hazardous materials, which are common in laboratory facilities, can influence the location of a new laboratory building or an addition to a laboratory building. Zoning regulations and building and fire codes can restrict the conversion of an existing nonlaboratory building and the renovation of an existing laboratory building.

The zoning and building permit processes in many communities may require public hearings and interagency reviews. A municipality's call for public comment can politicize proposed construction if appropriate community support

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