Anatomy Lab Design Considerations

Anatomy Lab Design Considerations

Posted in the Pathology Forum

Lab Design Architects


#1 Dec 31, 2008
Anatomy Lab Design Stresses Functionality, Durability, and Flexibility

Anatomy lab design requires a thorough understanding of the unique needs and challenges of a large space where medical and allied healthcare profession students learn about physiology through actual, physical dissection. Imagine an environment where you have 100 anatomy students, working in one large room, on multiple dissections, and you will start to envision the challenges facing an architect of an anatomy lab.
So well-known lab design architect architect, Bernstein & Associates, Architects, approached the design of a new university anatomy lab with a view to creating a state-of-the-art lab that would meet the particular needs of this university lab building type.

The first step in the lab design process was a careful look at the existing anatomy lab. The reason? First to evaluate the pluses and minuses of the existing lab. And second, because the new lab was proposed for the same location as the existing lab, it was important to determine how the new lab could be built in a way that would minimize the period of time that the university would not have a functioning anatomhy lab.

Following the due diligence of looking at existing conditions, the architect drew up a written Program, summarizing the room-by-room requirements of the lab. Once approved, there were numerous lab design meetings with the university administration and the anatomy lab department, to review adjacency and flow concepts, as well as the appropriate size for each of the lab components.

The design of the anatomy lab that resulted, incorporates the following lab components in a logical relationship and room-to-room flow: the main anataomy lab iteself with 25 worktables designed for 6 students at each table, male and female locker rooms, faculty office, virtual anatomy computer lab, general storage room and av storage room.

The overall finishes of the lab space are designed for maximum durability. Within the lab, there are two plumbing hose bibs, to allow the university to bring in spray washers and spray wash the entire lab space, including floors, walls and ceilings. This potential water saturation of all surfaces dictated not only an extensive floor drain system, but also waterproof surfaces and light fixtures, as well as ground fault interruptors on all electrical outlets.

The mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems are sophisticated, in keeping with the demainding nature of anatomy lab usage. The HVAC system is designed as a laminar flow system, with air distributed from the ceiling and exhusted through low returns in the wall (similiar to the HVAC design of operating rooms and clean rooms). All of the electrical as mentioned had to be waterproof, including flex-coil outlets suspended from the ceiling. The plumbing system is critical for hand-washing, instrument washing, and drainage of the entire space in a safe manner. Lighting in particular was developed with multiple lighting levels, to allow alternmate uses of the space requiring high vs. low ambient lighting levels.

All-in-all, state-of-the-art anatomy lab, resulting from careful study of this university lab building type, as well as close coordination between architect, engineer, university administration and anatomy lab teaching staff.

For more information about the design, architecture and engineering of state-of-the-art anatomy labs, including the design of virtual anatomy labs, please contact well-known lab architect, Bernstein & Associates, Architects:
Bernstein & Assoc. Architects - PLLC
(lab planning, lab design, lab architecture, and lab engineering)
Email: [email protected]

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