2. More digitised and automated labs
Labs are becoming more computerised. Robotics used more and more for difficult and precise tasks, and computers doing very complex arithmetic to achieve what scientists can’t. In addition, cloud technology enables remote access to complex equipment and running info on processes, and is being used more in labs to store data, processes, cycles, lab procedures etc.
Automation can also complete complex and sometimes slow, monotonous tasks in short spaces of time for greater efficiency and accuracy. Although laboratory automation was very costly previously, it is now becoming a more accessible and affordable commodity, therefore common. The first fully automated laboratory being opened in the 1980’s by Dr. Masahide Sasaki, while costing millions, proved undeniable success.
Automation has become very popular due to the lower costs available these days and is proving very successful.
3. Innovative and compact equipment
Compact equipment means more items on your shelves, more room for work, and less need for storage space. This allows lab processes to become more efficient, by using less of the fluids or chemicals to produce a result.
This cost-effective solution, therefore, improves the lab’s productivity. As well as being small and lightweight, a majority of lab equipment is becoming modular and configurable, e.g. universal test-tube racks,; as opposed to five different test tube rack dimensions and tube sizes. One-size-fits-all silicone stoppers, with ‘pluggable’ holes for any type of experiment.
These types of innovations are what save laboratories money, time and effort while improving productivity.
4. Sustainability-focused design
Laboratory design is becoming more focused on maximising sustainability. This includes making use of natural light, reducing carbon footprint; recycling and investing in more efficient equipment, conserving energy and water, and reducing the amount of hazardous or toxic chemicals that potentially harm the environment.
This helps to lessen the substantial amounts of energy that are typically used up by laboratories, that usually require UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply), large backup systems, 24-hour access, and large amounts of heat-generating, containment and exhaust systems that require huge amounts of energy.
Another contributor to lab energy use is the need for clean, unrecycled air. Of late, lab trends are proving to show that sustainability is key, so that design elements contribute to maximum efficiency, and so the impact on the environment is minimised.