Regardless of the type of lab you are designing, choosing furniture can be a make-or-break step that can dictate the future success of your facility. In wet labs, special consideration must be taken in regards to the water-resistance of all furniture, resistance to bacterial buildup, and ability to withstand regular cleanings and exposure to chemicals.
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At OnePointe Solutions, we design, build, and install high-quality laboratory furniture custom made to suit the unique and individual needs of our clients. If you are in the midst of designing a wet lab and are in need of expert advice on how to choose wet lab furniture, you have come to the right place.
In this guide, we will share some of the key considerations you will need to keep in mind when choosing wet lab furniture. Our lab construction and design specialists can help guide you on your next project, even if you are an engineer looking for help starting a renovation or expansion.
Wet Lab vs. Dry Lab: What’s the Difference?
Wet labs are often designed with possible spills in mind. Complex and highly efficient drainage systems are common in most wet lab environments, with sloping floors and drains aiding in the maintenance of a slip-free work area. Sinks, mop stations, and laboratory workbenches and tables outfitted with plumbing help to direct water to workstations for the safe and efficient handling and cleaning of all materials, tools, and equipment.
Dry labs are designed to be as dry as possible, often intended to be ideal environments for electronics and computers as well as highly-sensitive equipment. Far fewer sinks and less complex drainage systems are required in dry labs, though some are necessary for efficient cleanup.
Wet labs primarily handle the research of liquid samples, testing biological materials, drugs, chemicals, and more for the purpose of scientific advancement and discovery. Wet labs handle physical samples, requiring specific environmental conditions for the preservation of sanitary conditions and a safe working environment for laboratory personnel. Wet labs can commonly be found in food testing facilities, pharmaceutical labs, cosmetics labs, etc.
Dry labs primarily handle data and computer-based research, utilizing technology and mathematics to perform research, evaluate bio-data, create computer-generated models, etc. Dry labs performing vital data analysis can be found in the worlds of engineering, medicine, physics, coding, etc.
Though it may seem obvious, far too many wet lab designs neglect to include sufficient considerations for water and moisture resistance. Many novice designers believe a few floor drains will be enough to avoid accumulated moisture, but don’t realize that choosing the wrong furniture can have a devastating impact, no matter how great the base-design of your facility may be.
When selecting wet lab furniture, it is important to choose options that can be made using water-resistant materials. Materials like wood or certain laminates may swell or bend if saturated with water. Materials with porous surfaces can easily collect moisture, allowing for the buildup of bacteria. Seams or cracks in wet lab casework or tables can lead to leaks, damaged items, and huge messes.
To avoid encountering moisture-related problems, choose water-resistant materials right from the start. At OnePointe Solutions, we offer lab tables, casework, countertops, and more in a range of water-resistant materials. Some of the water-resistant work surface materials we offer include:
- Epoxy resin
- Phenolic resin
- Stainless steel
Special Equipment Requirements
Wet labs have special equipment requirements that must be considered during the process of designing the lab and choosing appropriate wet lab furniture. Equipment and tools for the observation, research, and testing of biological agents, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and more require special housing and storage to prevent damage and ensure accurate performance and results.
At OnePointe Solutions, we can help you create wet lab furniture customized to accommodate your special equipment. Whether you need space for mass spectrometry instruments, microscopes, fume hoods and biosafety cabinets, or any other equipment, our team can help. We’ll design your wet lab furniture around existing HVAC and plumbing systems, so you won’t need to waste space in order to make generic furniture work with your existing facility.
Comfortable seating is about more than just comfort, it is about health and efficiency, too. Uncomfortable seating is usually uncomfortable because it simply is not designed for the human body, forcing facility personnel to sit in unnatural positions for hours on end in order to complete their work. Poor posture as a result of uncomfortable chairs can result in prolonged physical discomfort, which can have a real and serious impact on workplace morale and personnel productivity.
To promote healthy sitting and posture in lab environments of every kind, we offer a large range of ergonomic seating options, including ergonomic seating for wet labs and cleanrooms. Made from water and moisture resistant materials that are easy to wipe down and clean, our chairs are more than just comfortable and good for the body, they are safe for use in wet labs too!
Build Your Ideal Wet Lab
The laboratory design team at OnePointe Solutions can help you build your perfect workspace. Get in touch to discuss your quite.
Call us at (866) 612-7312, fill out an online contact form, or chat with us online. We will draw up a detailed 3-D drawing per your scope, and will visit the facility at no additional cost to take measurements and discuss the installation.