Achieving Hazardous Materials Compliance in University Laboratories

Universities are constantly evolving and growing. One area that is currently realizing rapid change and growth is university research laboratories. These lab spaces are often planned and constructed for a specific professor or even for a specific research project. Growth and change of lab spaces is so rapid that labs are being introduced into all types of building environments. Labs may be part of an existing building that was not originally designed for laboratory use, be repurposed from a previous lab, or be part of a new state of the art laboratory building. One item that can easily be overlooked in the planning, design, construction and repurposing of lab space is the potential impact of the hazardous materials, used in the labs, to the safety of the building’s occupants and emergency responders. Applicable building and fire codes set acceptable limits for