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Top 5 things to consider when setting up a New Lab

Setting up a new laboratory can be an exciting and daunting thing to do. You might be a researcher or just completed a Ph.D., or you could be a biotech start-up, whatever your background, there are many things to think about. We have taken our 5 top things to consider when planing a new lab, hopefully, they will help you on your journey.

1. What is the purpose of your new lab?

A pretty obvious starting point. Are you setting up a new lab in an existing research or academic facility, or is this a new commercial venture in cosmetic testing, food quality control, or pharmaceutical manufacturing? 

A microbiology lab in a medical or pharmaceutical environment will need things like incubators, centrifuges, water baths, shakers and stirrers, whereas a lab for analytical chemistry testing might need analytical balances, FTIR Spectrophotometers, or chromatography setups like HPLC or GC-MS for testing samples.

2. What Lab Equipment will you need?

Identifying your ‘Mission Critical’ items is essential. Which scientific devices can your lab not function without, and which items could be sourced later on? If you are buying new equipment, make sure you do your research and use a reputable manufacturer and dealer, and ensure that you understand what the device comes with - be that accessories, software, or warranty and service package. Good dealers (like us) will look after you from your initial inquiry through the many changes your lab may make. Many of Richmond Scientifics customers have been using us for years, and wouldn’t go anywhere else for advice and a great deal. 

3. What is your Budget?

Your budget, whether a private investment, government funding, grant or loan, will need to cover things like the purchase of scientific equipment, consumables such as reagents, pipettes, safety equipment and furniture, as well as overheads like rent, wages, training and bills. You can potentially save money by looking at buying used lab equipment rather than new, often saving over a 3rd of the price.

4. Risk Assessment & Safety

Lab safety is of paramount importance and covers everything from chemical storage to clothing and behavior. When you are setting up a new lab it is important to set out the rules and policies that you, your staff and anyone else that will use the lab, will need to adhere to, to keep everyone safe.

Lab Manager recently scoured the safety policies of several laboratories to determine some of the most common lab safety rules out there, to help you whether you’re developing or updating a set of policies for your own lab. 

The official UK Health & Safety Executive guide for setting up a new lab is here: HSE for new labs


5. Sustainability

Sustainability is something we all need to take into account, and when you are setting up a new lab. From reducing your environmental impact to maximizing your efficiency, sustainability can be built into the design of your new lab.

Ideas to reduce environmental impact could include using sunlight to lower the need for heat and light, buying equipment that is efficiency rated, reducing the time that your devices are running and sourcing second-hand furniture and equipment to reduce the need to recycle or scrap. Building your lab around sustainability is great for the environment, but can also bring significant cost savings over time. 


We do hope you enjoy the process of setting up and managing your new lab, if you need any advice or would like a quote for used lab equipment to furnish your lab, please get in touch!

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