arc2lab group was founded by Dipl. Ing. Arch. Christian Schnitzer in 2004. Established in Munich, Germany. Known for high quality design in the Specialized field for Laboratory Planning, Research and Development, Healthcare Unit Services, Investment, Administrative and Educative Buildings, Housing and Culture and Leisure. We are responsible of high impact projects like Seibersdorf Laboratories for the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna and the Dubai Police Headquarters Building for Law Enforcement and Forensic Research and Wacker Laboratories in Munich.
The Company success rest in its considered approach to every project, taking the utmost respect for the requirements and the unique character of the project, to ensure the finished design not only sits well withing its environment, but also meets the requirements and needs for the final user and for the Client. This combination of abilities has translated perfectly to projects ranging from housing to Bio Safety Level 3 Laboratories.
Our philosophy of design is based on the following concepts:
Right sizing of infrastructure such as mechanical and structural systems is key to long-term adaptability.
Systems design should be fully integrated into the planning process at the earliest stages and utilize modular concepts to allow future changes to occur with minimal disruption. Air systems, power, data and piped services such as lab gases and water must be planned to anticipate future requirements and minimize a ˮfatal flawˮ that could impede flexibility. The structural grid should pose minimal obstruction to work tasks. Floor-to-floor heights should permit space for routing future utilities for a range of scientific tasks, from wet chemistry and bioprocess experiments to physical/electrical and computational science.
Providing appropriate space distribution of lab and non-lab functions is the outcome of a collaborative programming and planning process. And understanding of what is unique about each lab, combined with satisfying critical relationships and adjacencies, will produce a synergistic plan. Benchmarking of the similar facilities is important to gain insight from peer institutions.
Building elements such as stairs and elevators, mechanical risers, and utility rooms should be positioned outside of the zones that require the most flexibility. The grouping of multiple labs to create neighborhoods with amenities can enhance team dynamics and foster interaction. The careful placement of like spaces such as offices, lab support and open labs can turn an
average facility into an efficient working whole.
LAB / OFFICE ZONING
The lab/office relationship is critical to maintaining the connectivity between the research bench and desk functions. There are several advantages to zoning offices and labs separately. First, costs and operational energy savings are realized. For example, unlike in the laboratory, office air can be circulated, making office systems easier to maintain for human comfort. Through proper zoning, lab flexibility is increased by limiting the potential obstacle of offices ˮinsideˮ the laboratory. The desired connectivity can be maintained between the lab and office zones by designing for proper proximities in conjunction with networked lab management system.
A laboratory’s design is the most successful when the purity of the modular concept is translated clearly and follows the tenant of ˮkeep it simple" Lab safety is increased with organized pathways for egress and materials handling, alcoves for fume hoods, and functional zones for efficient wet-bench work. A single corridor scheme with offices opposite the labs reinforces collaboration.
Ghost corridors provide a simple and efficient interconnection between labs and lab support while also serving the purpose of internal lab circulation. By organizing the lab with clear and distinctive concepts that are meaningful to the particular facility, the life expectancy of the lab and its ability to adapt to change are greatly extended.
There are many advantages to an open laboratory environment, where contiguous modules form a generic lab zone. Open labs are less costly to construct due to fewer walls and material interfaces. They are inherently safer, providing occupants with a higher level of visual and audible knowledge of a potential threat or incident. Open labs are more easily assigned and reconfigures for people and processes, leading to shared opportunities for a variety of functions. More important is the potential for collaboration and interdisciplinary activities that occurs in the open lab environment.
The first and the most fundamental concept of laboratory planning is the application of modular design. This approach maintains the highest level of flexibility by allowing the functional requirements of the lab to influence the form - to design from the inside out. The modular approach provides interchangeability of spaces as well as opportunities for increased efficiency.
Truly adaptable laboratory space is inherently sustainable. Sustainable design strategies - including the use of daylighting, energy-efficient building systems and sustainable materials - will assist in reducing the environmental impact while producing a building the functions longer than its normal life expectancy.