Before setting up my company Work Area Ltd, I had spent 17 years designing and fitting out laboratories.
Over that time, there was a huge change in that people were coming away from the traditional idea of having storage units in fixed positions, to a more flexible laboratory fit out.
The “traditional” type fit out would typically consist of storage units with the work top being attached directly to it. In using this design, you would have to leave spaces in the area in which you assumed someone would sit. Problems would occur if at a later stage you would acquire equipment that needed to go underneath the work top – or required additional seating spaces. This would mean the removal of the fixed units and some upheaval in the laboratory.
The more flexible approach was to have the work top secured to a fixed position steel frame work system. The under bench storage would be cupboards / drawers on wheels. These could then be moved around to suit the requirement of the lab, i.e create different / new positions for people to sit, or for the location of equipment etc. The fact that the storage units were moveable, also allowed for them to be pulled out fully, in order to effect a complete deep clean of the lab.
Of course if you wanted the ultimate in flexibility, the best option would be to have the laboratory fitted out with individual benches (either on feet or on castors) and then compliment them with mobile or suspended storage units.
The flexible options proved particularly popular in “incubator” type facilities, as you never really knew from one tennant to another what would be required, and allowed for the whole layout to be changed relatively easily.
It was also a way of helping with budgets – i.e. purchase the benches and storage units that you know you are going to need, with a view to adding more in the future as you need them. They could be delivered ready to roll off the van and into the lab.
The use of mobile type storage units and individual benches means that they are easily replaced as or when they get past their best.
If you would like further information or costs on mobile type storage units, and individual lab benches please do not hesitate to contact me..