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Teacher Resources

Flinn's Laboratory Design Priority Lists for Chemistry and Biology

Setting priorities helps keep everyone involved in the design process focused on what the important features of the laboratory are. Priorities especially give direction to the architect, lab furniture company, or anyone else who may be assisting in the design process. Priorities also help in making tough budget decisions. Setting priorities is an absolute must for any lab design process.

Here is a list of priorities Flinn Scientific has developed for the chemistry laboratory, chemistry prep area, chemical storage area, biology laboratory and biology prep area. These lists are by no means complete, but will certainly help you in getting a priority list started. Please remember, a priority list is a "living" list. As you visit more labs and are exposed to more ideas, your priorities will change and become more focused over time.

Chemistry Rooms

1. Lab ventilation. Air for lab ventilation shall directly flow into the laboratory from non-laboratory areas and out to the exterior of the building, away from ventilation intake ports. The ventilation fan must remove the air a minimum of eight air changes per hour or 3,200 cubic feet per minute (cfm).

2. Minimum size of 1,400 square feet for the chemistry lab/lecture area with a maximum of 24 students.

3. Lab workstations arranged so a maximum of working students can be observed directly. Four students (two teams of two) will be working at each lab station. Whatever furniture arrangement used must provide maximum visibility, optimum supervision, optimum student/teacher contact, and optimum cooperative learning among students. Are book storage bins in lab stations or locking cabinets needed?

4. Ample space between lab stations. Preference is for students not to be working directly back to back.

5. Eye/face wash, safety shower, fire blanket, fire extinguisher, and spill control materials strategically located. Floor drain for the shower is required.

6. Large sinks are a must. One for each lab station. Are both hot and cold water needed? Size should be a minimum of 16" x 20". Gas will be at each lab station.

7. Fume hoods. Two per room. 48" long. Vented directly to the exterior of the building. Recommend Flinn SE9000 with SE9003 base cabinet. Hood should have water, gas, and electric connections.

8. Ample general storage is a must.

9. Student storage is required.

10. Electricity to support hot plates, etc. Need two sets of two duplex outlets with GFI protection for each lab station.

11. Work surfaces should be black epoxy resin.

12. Demonstration desk with gas, hot/cold water, and ample electricity.

13. Main gas shut-off in each lab area.

14. Chalk or marker board, 20-24 linear feet. A tack board is also needed. (Are marker boards available which are easy to clean, do not "ghost" over time and can be used with hypo-allergenic markers?)

15. Space to include periodic table wall chart.

16. Computer hookup at each individual lab station (two per station). If cabling will not be run, certainly conduit for future use should be added now.

17. Blinds to darken room.

Other Thoughts

Balance (in-use) station

Apron storage area

Goggle storage and cleaning area

No student seating in lab

Chemists' Prep/Chemical Storage Areas

A top priority is to have a separate prep area and chemical storage area.

Chemistry Prep Area

1. Ample storage space. (Be specific here. Do you want drawers, shelves, open or closed areas, etc.)

2. Lots of counter space with a center island.

3. Fume hood, (36" or 48"?) with gas and electric connections. Are water and sink required?

4. Two large sinks, 16" x 20", with hot/cold water.

5. Ample electricity with GFI protection.

6. Gas jets. Specify number. Locations to be determined later.

7. Eyewash/body drench. Recommend Flinn number AP8731.

8. Ample, proper lighting.

9. Space for demineralizer.

10. Storage for carts. Needs at least 34" height clearance. Possible storage under center island.

11. Automatic dishwasher.

Chemical Storage Area

1. Wooden shelves fastened to the wall. Fixed position shelves 12" deep and 10" high. (What is the tallest bottle you would put on a shelf? Use this dimension.) Shelf lips on each shelf. Chemical storage should be no higher than 7 feet tall.

2. Flammable storage in approved NFPA/OSHA cabinets. See Flinn Flammable Cabinets.

3. Acid storage in approved OSHA cabinets. See Flinn Acid Storage Cabinets.

4. Ventilation with a complete air change every four hours. Ventilation must flow directly to the exterior of the building and nowhere near any intake ports.

5. Room should be fire rated. Double drywall ceiling and walls with a fire rated door. Door should hinge out and have self-return hardware and a sturdy lock.

6. Smoke detectors should be installed in the chemical storage area and nearby, well-traveled hallway. Both units should be line operated-if one goes off, the other goes off-alerting school staff to a problem in the chemical storage area.

Biology Rooms

1. Stations must be arranged so a maximum of working students can be observed. Four students will be working at a lab station. Whatever furniture arrangement is used must provide maximum visibility, optimum supervision, optimum student/teacher contact, optimum cooperative teaming among students. Are book storage bins in lab stations or are locking cabinets needed?

2. Demonstration desk with gas, hot/cold water, and ample electricity.

3. Ventilation. Air for lab ventilation shall directly flow into the lab from non-laboratory areas and out to the exterior of the building. The ventilation fan must remove air a minimum of eight air changes per hour or 3,200 cfm.

4. Electricity for all lab stations. Two each, two duplex outlets with GFI protection per station.

5. Large sinks, each 16" x 20", cold/hot water, acid resistant.

6. Fume hood, one per room. 48" long. Vented directly to the exterior of the building. Recommend Flinn SE9000 with SE9003 base cabinet. Hood should have water, gas, and electric connections.

7. Gas at each lab station.

8. Ample general storage is a must.

9. Student storage is required.

10. Black epoxy resin table tops.

11. Permanent teacher´s desk with electricity and computer network connections for two monitors.

12. Space and electricity for incubator.

13. Chalk and/or dry erase board. Tack board also needed.

14. Computer hookup at each individual lab station. If cabling cannot be provided, provide conduit for future installation.

15. Gro-lite installed under cabinet in one section of room.

16. Blinds to darken room.

Biology Prep Area

1. Ample storage space. (Be specific here. Do you want drawers. shelves, open or closed areas, etc.)

2. Lots of counter space with a center island.

3. Fume hood, (36" or 48"?) with gas and electric. Are water and sink required?

4. Two large sinks, 16" x 20", with hot/cold water.

5. Ample electricity with GFI protection. Must support two ovens, two large hot plates, and a large autoclave.

6. Gas jets. Two each. Locations to be determined later.

7. Eyewash/body drench. Recommend Flinn number AP8731.

8. Ample lighting.

9. Space and electricity for refrigerator.

10. Tall cabinet storage with adjustable shelving for project storage.

11. Small growing room for plants. Accessible to natural light.

12. Space for demineralizer.

13. Storage for carts. Needs at least 34" height clearance. Possible storage under center island.

14. Automatic dishwasher.

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Phone:1-800-452-1261
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