Labs fit for purpose

By - , Build 129

Revamped, fit-for-purpose labs at BRANZ were designed to give scientists more resources and a light, spacious environment in which to work.

A BRANZ technician at work in the upgraded labs which are larger, lighter and enable better workflows.

The BRANZ laboratories are now fully functional again after being radically transformed by Warren and Mahoney, in collaboration with the BRANZ Building Performance team.

Every detail, from the direction in which the cupboard doors open to the floor coverings and stainless steel work surfaces, was specified with the objective of creating a light, clean, productive working environment. The lab areas are now larger and lighter and allow improved workflows.

The floors are covered in anti-static vinyl that is easy to clean, and the workbenches are stainless steel. A large glass-top workbench in the centre of the main lab created for layout and cutting has been designed so that it can be moved.

Designed for specific functions

Whether it’s in the educational sector, industrial, healthcare or the pharmaceutical industries, laboratories are designed to perform a range of tests and experiments under carefully controlled conditions. The BRANZ labs are no exception. The new design supports efficiency and cleanliness while providing the correct environment for testing and research experiments.

Some BRANZ labs are designed to be climate controlled. Under international standards, the standard lab conditions for undertaking tests are 23°C and 50% relative humidity. These conditions are required for performing tests such as those on double-glazed units, which are tested to stringent European standards.

Testing undertaken includes environmental, weathering, accelerated durability ageing and corrosion investigations on building products such as claddings, flooring, roof tiles and membranes, sealants and adhesives, coatings and building wraps.

A BRANZ technician at work in the upgraded labs which are larger, lighter and enable better workflows.

Prepared for the future

The laboratories were not only influenced by function, but also by their inhabitants. Through consulting with the scientists and hearing how they work, Warren and Mahoney were able to effectively redesign the BRANZ labs.

The labs also reflect the way BRANZ is evolving. The scientists see the space as providing them with more resources to carry out their experiments, and a flexible work area that projects a professional image to their colleagues, visitors and clients.

The final component of the design was to create the overall look and feel, delivering an open, light and comfortable workspace that conveys a professional image and provides a positive place to work.

The rejuvenated labs are just one part of the overall transformation of the BRANZ site. Their new look is echoed in the new Totara building, which was officially opened on 27 March. Both buildings have a very open design feel, but at the same time reflect the function of their respective areas and inhabitants.

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A BRANZ technician at work in the upgraded labs which are larger, lighter and enable better workflows.