Laboratory Designs

Chemical Laboratory Design

Either you are setting up a new Chemical Laboratory or renovating a current space, there are a lot factor to consider and carefully plan for. Inadequate planning or inexperience in these area would incur additional cost or go out of your budget. It is good to be clear what kind of analysis you are intending to perform now and in the future so that you can cater the right equipment, facilities and furniture for your laboratory.

01 Background


Chemistry or Chemical lab revolve around the nature of organic and inorganic chemistry research, experiment and analysis. These lab are essential for conducting chemical reactions, measuring properties of substances and the study of chemical properties.

Some examples of such lab could be:

  • University Chemistry lab
  • Industrial Adhesive Testing
  • Specialty or Generic Chemical manufacturer
  • Chemical QA/QC
  • Environmental Testing lab (water/soil)

02 Furniture

Furniture Type

In a Chemical lab, the presence of strong solvent and acid are inevitable, proper design, arrangement, workflow and material are essential to the success and longevity of such lab.

Both Based mounted or Frame furniture design are acceptable in a chemical lab, using either wooden or metal cabinets beneath for a generous amount of storage space. It is important to note that such furnitures have to be lab grade using Laminated finish or Chemical resistant Epoxy coating. 

Choice of Worktop material is also paramount in lab design. With choices of Epoxy Resin, Phenolic Resin, Ceramic, Laminated wood top, Polypropylene, stainless steel among others, it has to primarily withstand chemical spills and easy to wipe down.

Provision of a proper safety flammable and acid storage cabinet will not only comply to local law regulations but also to ensure that proper organization & storage of chemicals are being considered in a event of chemical spill or breakout

03 Facilities


Fume Hood
With a large number of chemical presence in a chemical lab, fumes build up are a major concern to lab users health and safety. The provision of a Laboratory Fume hood, or sometimes called fume enclosure, allow chemical to be safety prepared in a safe and ventilated environment. Special hood like the Polypropylene Fume Hood and Perchloric Fume Hood are especially suitable for acid preparation and acid digestion usage.

Fume hood and exhaust system often bring about another set of issues: Lab Temperature and pressure.
With large volume of air being exhausted out into the atmosphere, chemical lab will often face negative pressure and its cold air being remove. Negative air pressure would often draw dust and particles into the lab or often you would find it difficult to open the door due to pressure differences.

A good ACMV (Aircon & Mechanical Ventilation) design would factor into this aspect to ensure fresh and/or conditioned cold air are being replenish back into the laboratory. Engaging a ACMV specialist who is familiar with laboratory space is essential to having good and safe air quality within a chemical lab.

While a chemical lab does not have stringent requirements on flooring, partition and ceiling type, it is important to consider chemical resistance, wipeable and robust materials choice. Wooden flooring are often not advisable

Safety Equipment
Safety facility equipment is something not to be missed when setting up and furnishing a chemical lab. Safety shower and eyewash (or sometimes called Emergency Shower) allow lab user to quickly rinse off themselves when in contact with harmful chemical. It must be strategically placed in the lab where access is unrestricted for all to use.

Personal PPE are also essential as part of Good Lab Practices (GLP) principles. Safety boots, Eye Goggles, lab coat are paramount to protect lab users from accidental spillage upon themselves. A cabinet to organize these items would help to supplement a chemical lab

Not forgetting Spillage kit and fire extinguishers to help lab users to safely neutralise dangerous threat within the chemical laboratory

04 Equipment

Equipment & Apparutus

Depending on the purpose and type of chemical analysis, a functional chemical lab would have examples of basic equipment like:

  1. Weighing Balance
  2. Water Purification System
  3. Drying Oven
  4. Rotary Evaporator
  5. Milling Machine
  6. Climate Chamber
  7. Pipette Sets
  8. Beaker & Glassware
  9. Fridge/Freezer
  10. Glassware Washer
  11. pH/Conductivity Meter
  12. Hotplate / Stirrer

Examples of more sophisticated Analytical equipment to provide chemical analysis:

  1. Liquid Chromatography (LC)
  2. Gas Chromatography (GC)
  3. Spectrometer
  4. ICP-OES
  5. Titrator
  6. Moisture Analyzer
  7. Particle Sizer Analyzer