Top 5 Reasons to Demand Modularity in your New Lab

Lab equipment with modularity

Modernist architect, Louis Sullivan, coined the well-known and oft repeated phrase, “form follows function”. Certainly a fundamental principle of most design categories; but it is especially true in an environment where specialisation of tasks and workflow efficiency is paramount. In other words, function is of utmost importance in the laboratory space. But what happens when function must adapt to new tasks and new technology? When a lab is highly customised and elements are fixed, the evolutionary process becomes costly and long periods of downtime are incurred. As lab design specialists, we therefore strongly advise that when building a new lab, or renovating an existing one, modularity is considered a priority.

Here are our top 5 reasons why the demand for modularity should never be comprised on:

1) Flexibility

The future is always an unknown, and despite our best efforts to accurately predict what will or won’t occur, certainty is unachievable. In fact, it would seem that disruptive technologies and sudden changes in market demands are a common feature of the 21st century. So we ask, can your lab adapt timeously to the erratic forces of new staff requirements, new equipment and new tests?

2) Long Renovation Cycles

Chances are you’ve waited a long time for your new lab. And chances are that you won’t get another new lab for another 10-20 years. Incorporating modular systems can cost as little as 20-35% more than a traditional lab, but these systems will have benefits for up to 20 years.

3) Reduce Downtime

Adapting a lab with a significant amount of fixed components will require construction work that can last up to several weeks (and cost a prohibitive amount of money – but we’ll get to that). With modular components, your lab is easier to maintain and repair, thereby reducing downtime and making sure that it remains operational and efficient. 

4) Save Money

Assuming a modest 5% increase in operational efficiency, a modular lab will pay for itself in as little as 5 years. Don’t under budget a lab and force the project to make concessions and cut corners. These compromises will inevitably get very expensive down the road. 

5) Filter out Unqualified Professionals

Due to the specialized nature of lab design and their long renovation cycles, most architectural firms and shopfitters are not aware of the modular systems available to labs. Demanding modularity means that you can test professionals to see if they are proficient lab designers.

While labs often have unique needs, the application of modular design (combined with the correct zoning of tasks and the implementation of flexible planning) will undoubtedly produce labs that, over their lifetimes, are the most efficient and cost effective option currently available.

Contact Beryl Labs for further info.