Many schools have specific laboratories for each different science subject – chemistry, biology and physics – but another option is for multi-purpose labs which can be used for two or more subjects. Tecomak Furniture Solutions has wide-ranging expertise in the whole field of school laboratory design and can advise you on how to build a laboratory with maximum flexibility.
As well as doubling up on different subjects, some schools also prefer to have labs which can be used across the age range. Designing labs for all age groups, rather than separate facilities for younger and older pupils, can give additional flexibility and can make it easier to timetable science lessons.
The type of school lab benches chosen and the layout of the lab as a whole will depend both on the type of subjects being taught and the age groups of the students, as well as various other factors. Where multiple subjects are being taught in one lab, additional storage may be needed so that equipment not in use can be put away safely.
In drawing up design solutions for school labs where more than one subject is being studied, our team of designers will ensure the lab area does not become too crowded by trying to fit too much in. We will also ensure full compliance with disability access requirements, for instance by building in enough space for students in wheelchairs to move around the room.
Designing for Different Science Subjects
Every school science subject requires some specific elements, which have design implications when a lab is being fitted out. This means a multi-purpose laboratory will have to incorporate a combination of these features, to ensure it can easily be used for all the lessons which are timetabled there.
Chemistry – Fume cupboards are a requirement for various chemistry experiments, protecting students from vapours. Tecomak are specialists in installing ventilation systems and can provide various different types of science laboratory fume cupboard designed for schools. These include fixed ducted, semi-mobile ducted and recirculating mobile fume cupboards, all available in a range of sizes and with various installation options.
Other services which are needed within a chemistry lab design include gas for Bunsen burners, resistant sinks and work surfaces and safe storage for both equipment and chemicals. Our staff constantly keep up-to-date with health and safety regulations affecting school science furniture and laboratories and will ensure your new or refurbished lab is fully compliant.
Biology – The requirements for biology lab furniture and design of the area are generally similar for those in a chemistry lab. However, this type of laboratory may need additional equipment such as UV lighting, microscopes, slides and fridges and freezers. Any area being used for biology lessons needs to be able to be cleaned very well, with high standards of hygiene, because students and staff will be handling organic materials. Resistant sinks are also an essential here.
Physics – When arranging a physics lab refurbishment, we are aware that there will be a need for blackout blinds, as a lot of experiments have to be carried out in the dark. Pupils may have to watch experiments and demonstrations being carried out at the front of the room, so this type of lab could typically have seats arranged facing the front and a dais where the teacher can be seen by all pupils. Some large pieces of equipment are needed for physics lessons, such as free-fall apparatus and a balance or force table, so these requirements will need to be borne in mind if you are considering using the area for other lessons.
Designing for Different Age Groups
If older and younger students will be studying in the same lab areas, you need to have the facilities which the older pupils will require for their exam studies, such as two fume cupboards in a chemistry lab and other specialist equipment. However, you also need to have enough space for larger classes of younger pupils. Suitable storage will probably be needed to ensure that items needed for sixth formers are safely out of the way during lessons for younger pupils.
Height adjustable science lab tables and desks can help to cater comfortably for students of different ages, as well as being valuable for disability access. Tecomak can design furniture to suit your particular lab and the age groups using it.
We have designed and fitted out laboratories for many different types of schools and educational institutions. Our team can draw up a bespoke school laboratory design either for a specialist chemistry, physics or biology lab or for a multi-purpose school lab, and then take charge of the whole process of fitting out the lab area. This coordinated approach means you do not have to deal with different trades and contractors, and makes the fitout go more smoothly. Get in touch to find out more about our services for schools and colleges.