I just returned from the 2010 SCUP North Central Conference held at the University of Cincinnati. I always find it energizing to reacquaint with old friends, make new ones, and truly inspiring to witness the passion in higher education that SCUP members share in common. It was a privilege to present the topic “The Future is Now: Community College Planning for 2020” with Bruce Massis of Columbus State Community College and Jerry Webster of Terra State Community College. Our talk focused on the challenges and opportunities that these colleges face from the impact of the “Great Recession”, the varied needs of an increasingly diverse group of students, effective strategic planning, effective partnerships that benefit both community colleges and surrounding communities, and the positive impact that architecture can have to enhance the experience of learning, social interaction, and student success. Over the next several weeks, I will continue to share more information about the subject
More and more my conversations with clients are round the idea of optimizing the work space to increase efficiency and productivity for scientists while maintaining a safe environment. Why you might ask? In these economic times companies want to expand in place and make minor changes in space and process that could have benefits of increased employee satisfaction and quality, while using less resources, time, and effort.
How do we do this? We implement Lean Lab Principles. Lean lab principles are derived from lean manufacturing and the 5S workplace organization methodology. These Lean principles can aid a laboratory in increasing speed, efficiency, quality and safety. The physical layout will affect how people work.
Going through this collaborative process you can improve the performance of your lab by improving flow and eliminating waste.
These Five principles are:
1. Sort – to get rid of unnecessary equipment or store it.
2. Straighten (or “Set in Order”) – Organize work areas for maximum efficiency by organizing tools & equipment to promote optimum work flows through minimizing movement.
3. Shine – Everything is cleaned and functioning properly.
4. Standardize – Develop a routine for sorting, setting and shining.?
5. Sustain–create a culture that follows the steps on a daily basis.
So how do you effectively and efficiently reduce the large amounts of energy that is used for ventilation while at the same time maximize safety in the lab? In balancing these two factors more exhaust air is not always the answer – after all, more air out requires more air in. As a result, excessive ventilation can actually diminish safety conditions in the labs. Currently Labs 21 is supporting optimization rather than maximization.
Just as a reference point, a typical lab building consumes 3 to 5 times more energy than a typical office building. Per Labs 21 If you break down consumption annually it would look like the chart below.