Designing for Flexibility and Scalability in Laboratories

John Hiester, CRB

As technology continues to advance, so does the manner in which research and development is conducted. As advances and shifts are made to keep pace with the rapid evolution of technology, the need for continual adaptation of support labs becomes essential. And this creates the need for continual renovations and facility upgrades. Additionally, continual breakthroughs in biomedical engineering and increased demands for biotech and pharmaceutical product development drive lab support needs to be able to accommodate constant advancement and improved testing methods for higher throughput. These factors emphasize the need for lab operators and end users to have the ability to repurpose and modify lab arrangements to keep up with increasing technology and market drivers.

Providing a flexible, scalable laboratory design solution offers a way for clients to be prepared to repurpose existing lab spaces in the future without having to perform a complete renovation of the space every time their lab space needs reworking.

Learning Objectives

  • Find opportunities for flexible, scalable design solutions in laboratories
  • Review the latest technologies and trends in the market that help provide practical, flexible, modular, scalable design solutions that meet clients' facility needs
  • Determine which products best fit specific applications—when and where to avoid certain technologies and products
  • Review capital investment versus return on investment and help clients determine whether a flexible, scalable solution is right for their facilities


John Hiester, CRB electrical engineer, has over 10 years of experience designing and specifying electrical systems. Hiester's primary market emphasis is on science + technology projects, but he also has with experience in research and development labs, animal research, pharmaceutical, biotech, food and process manufacturing, healthcare, mission critical and higher education projects.


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