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Investigate and evaluate the differences and similarities in the key features in planning the designs of two different types of laboratory or other scientific workplaces.

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Introduction

I have been asked to investigate and evaluate the differences and similarities in the key features in planning the designs of two different types of laboratory or other scientific workplaces. The assignment will express my ideas and evaluation of best practice to design a laboratory, which can be used for applied science and research. For the purpose of my paper I have assessed two laboratories, which have been designed for similar purposes. The laboratories have been used for the education of higher and secondary education. The laboratories described are NEW College, Redditch (Higher Education) and St Benedict's High School, Alcester (11 - 16 years of age). The laboratories are both different because of their contrasting roles. The laboratory at St Benedict's Alcester is specifically designed for biology while the laboratory at NEW College Redditch, located in the Peakman Building, is used for applied science. In the design of the laboratories, approval by the appropriate planning authority, namely Redditch Borough Council for NEW College and Stratford upon Avon District Council for St Benedict's High School, has been obtained. Both Local authorities sanctioned building regulation approval at the time when the applications were made for approvals, following consultation with the appropriate fire authority (Hereford and Worcestershire and Warwickshire Fire and Rescue). ...read more.

Middle

Space for safety equipment such as first aid kits, body fluid kits, eye wash kits, safety goggles, lab coats and protective screens. Safety notices should be employed to allow students and teachers to be aware of any risks connected to hazardous substances around the laboratory. All safety notices should be recognised by C.O.S.H.H. regulations. The laboratories share the main common factor, which is to provide a good education for students in the science subject. However this needs to be investigated further to show the similarities and difference of each of the laboratories when they are compared together (designs for each laboratory can be found in appendix 1). These are: Similarities of both laboratories: The acoustics of both laboratories allow students to listen to the teacher/lecturer from anywhere within the room. The amount of artificial lighting is in keeping with each laboratory and with the regulations for the work place. The amount of storage for equipment found with both laboratories. The flooring finishes are both high duty, which is able to withstand high usage with a reduced time of wear. Differences of the laboratories: The differences that the laboratory in Redditch has compared to the laboratory in Alcester are: The workbenches in the Redditch laboratory needs to be updated to be in keeping with all the new regulations for safety due to the high use of this laboratory furniture. ...read more.

Conclusion

Evaluation of Design The design has covered the main criteria for the improvement selected above. The design gives the room space with a lot of storage space including under the desks in a side panel. The additional features that can be included such as sound proofing for acoustic enhancement, increase of windows and other ventilation equipment to provide a clean supply of air in to the laboratory. The entry and exit points should be easier to get to in case of an emergency - this allows a fluid movement. The number of fire extinguishers is to the rate of 1 fire extinguisher to 3 people. The implementation of a bag and coat rack helps reduce the amount of clutter within the room, with the sinks being all-together on one side. This allows people to move around while doing their experiment. The implementations of the seating with the lumbar support, arm rests and foot rests reduces the pressure along the spine thus allowing the person to sit in a comfortable position. Overall the criteria to design a laboratory for applied science has been implemented, however the space and size of the room also dictates what equipment can be used. If the possibility was to knock down the adjacent wall in to another classroom was allowed, the space would more than likely allow some heavy-duty equipment to be used for some complicated experiments. ...read more.

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