Laboratory and Office Space Checklist

November 30, 2023

Searching for laboratory space can be daunting; it's important for life sciences companies to find somewhere they can set up properly to achieve their accreditations without having to move later. Here are 10 things to keep in mind when looking at different lab spaces:

  1. Is there enough bench space for all of your potential experiments and procedures? Is the surface appropriate for what you are working with?
  2. What biological safety level do you require now? Will you require a higher level in the future?
  3. Is there space to store your biohazardous waste until it is disposed? Consider your growth plan before committing to a space.
  4. Make a list of the equipment you will need in the short-term and long-term. Can the space accommodate all of your current and potential equipment needs? For example, does the space have enough power for a mass spectrometer? Does it have the required ventilation? 
  5. Will you need special arrangements for a shipping and receiving area? Does it have to be operational after hours and are there restrictions on what can be received? 
  6. What industry standards do you need to test/comply to? Will this change in the future?
  7. Are there any gaps in your technical expertise that need to be filled/addressed? How will you fill those gaps?
  8. Do you require short or long term refrigerated/frozen storage for samples and/or consumables? 
  9. Is your current (or planned) quality management system applicable to multiple spaces?
  10. When considering lab entrance points, will new equipment be able to fit through to get into the lab? How will you move equipment in and out? Do you need specialized equipment to help with the move?

As important as lab space is there are also considerations to be made on the office space side. Consider these 10 things when examining different potential office spaces:

  1. What is the size of your team now, and what will the size be in the next 1-5 years? Will there be enough space to accommodate your growing team?
  2. Does your office need to be in close proximity to your lab? 
  3. If you are sharing a facility with other companies, are your potential private spaces sound proofed? Is there enough meeting space for small or large group meetings? 
  4. If there are shared spaces, are they set up in a way that is beneficial to your company?
  5. If your company is interested in hosting events or gatherings, is there enough space for that?
  6. Does your team drive or take transit? How accessible is the facility by road or transit?
  7. Does the facility have reliable wifi in all rooms of the facility?
  8. Is there a mail sorting room, or a secure place for deliveries to go?
  9. Does the building have an ambience and décor that fits your company's brand and culture?
  10. Will the building need to have secure access through keycards? Or will it be more public-facing?