An Interior Design Guide for Laboratories

Space Planning

While each lab serves its own unique purpose, every layout should start with consideration for optimizing effectiveness and, ultimately, a return on investment. Integrating a sustainable design that incorporates green building practices is one way to future-proof your lab. That said, there are five key points that require thoughtful deliberation in the space planning process.

  1. Identify space requirements: Determining whether you want to adapt your existing space or move to a new location provides the foundational underpinning for the balance of your design. Once you identify the physical space, you can build from there based on square footage.
  2. Delineate workflow: Do you have a workflow vision? Taking the time to detail the lab’s process from start to finish streamlines future workflow efficiency and productivity.
  3. Ascertain equipment needs: Create an accurate and detailed list of every item the lab needs, from beakers to vacuum pumps.
  4. Configure an ideal layout: Create a space that maximizes efficiency, promotes safety and provides collaboration spaces. One consideration may be the need to separate specific areas or lab zones based on the materials or equipment used.
  5. Consider materials and chemicals: The materials and finishes selected for your lab should be practical. Countertops and cabinets, for instance, need to withstand constant use and contact with chemicals and heat.

Selecting and Placing Equipment

One critical aspect of creating an ideal lab space is selecting quality equipment that carries your research forward. The second consideration is identifying equipment integration within the space. Factors affecting your decision may include:

Equipment Selection


Equipment requirements



Maintenance and repair


Equipment Placement

Lab size



Stationary versus movable equipment

Choosing Colors for a Lab

Color choices in a laboratory workspace can stimulate brain activity, differentiate functional zones, warn of equipment or chemical hazards, fulfill safety and compliance requirements and affect mood and productivity. Function is a critical factor when incorporating lighting and an appropriate color scheme into the laboratory design.

An Interior Design Guide for Laboratories