This is an extremely important aspect of the start up process, especially if you are planning to have an instrument based lab. Before I interviewed I had already thought about the space that I would need including power, cooling water and a/c requirements. I am extremely pleased that I did as I was asked about lab space at every research presentation.

This is the timeline of my lab renovation at Washington University in St. Louis and was written during the renovation.

April 2003

  • April 23rd: Arrival of the TOF SIMS from ION TOF, Inc. It's now being installed (April 27th). For photos see here.

February 2003

  • February 7th: Lab Opening Party!

January 2003

  • January 20th - 29th: OK so the lights from Germany have still not arrived so we're still living with some temporary lights in the Gelb server room and the Walker equipment lab. HOWEVER, other big things have been happening. The "punch list" (or stuff that's got to be fixed before building completion) has been done.... Furniture has been installed in the offices, and Lev Gelb's group has already moved in! Photos
  • January 13th - 17th: Work is still contiunuing on the electricals in the Walker lab as well as the fire alarm system. The big news is that the lab benches, etc. have been installed in the instrument and wet labs. The fume hood has also been installed in the wet lab. All I can say is it looks way cool....! The Gelb lab is almost finished - the electricals in the server room are all hooked up, paint has been patched....and they're just about to put the glass in the server room windows. In some of the rooms temporary lights have been put up since the lights still haven't arrived from Germany. Photos
  • January 6th - 10th: The carpet in the Walker lab has been installed and the flooring in the instrument lab/ wet lab is finished. All the ethernet cable has been pulled and attached to a patch panel for the building drop. (Both the Walker and Gelb labs' network connections are connected to the same panel.) The isoduct and electricals have been installed in both the Walker lab and the Gelb server room. The plumbing for the air handlers are almost finished and they are working on the plumbing for the Walker lab vacuum exhaust. Photos
  • December 21st 2002 - January 5th 2003: The labs are starting to look more finished. The lighting, carpet and fllooring has been installed in the Gelb lab as well as most of the electrical plugs and internet connections. In the Walker lab, the flooring in the instrument lab has almost been finished, more ductwork has been installed and the office space has lights, electrical plugs and internet connections. We still need ceiling tiles and isoduct for the electrics in the instrument lab and the computer server room.... and a whole bunch of other things!! Photos

December 2002

  • December 16th - 20th: More painting, installation of the ceiling grid, sprinkler system, climate control and internet and phone.... oh and I forgot the kitchen sinks (really!) Photos
  • December 9th - 13th: The labs were painted this week, pipes are starting to be insulated, ethernet wiring is being planned / installed and the kitchen areas for each lab have been fitted out. Photos
  • December 2nd - 6th: The air handlers are installed, the holes in the walls are being plastered in ready for painting next week.....It almost looks like the renovations will be finished sometime soon!!! Photos

November 2002

  • November 25th - 27th: A short week due to Thanksgiving. Everything is progressing - all the drywall is up, the air handling units have arrived and are in place (but not installed), and the nitrogen gas, air and water cooling manifolds are being installed......Photos
  • November 18th - 22nd: Instrument lab is still being decked out with all sorts of services - the plumbing has now gone in for the compressed air, nitrogen and cooling ware manifolds. Nearly all the drywall is installed - just a few bits left over as we were waiting for the air handling units to arrive. Air handling units arrived on Friday - 10 days ahead of schedule! It's really starting to look more like a lab.... Photos
  • November 11th - 15th: Some good things and some bad things this week. It's going to take longer than expected for delivery of the fumehood and some other components so the project won't be finished until early January. On the GOOD side, work still goes on apace - this week the inside of the wall was finished off and they've put in the drywall. Now I can't see from my lab through to the Gelb lab. Also, the instrument lab is being rapidly decked out with wiring tracks, duct work...... Photos
  • November 4th - 8th: More wiring, plumbing, ductwork... Photos

October 2002

  • October 28th- November 1st: Electrical wiring, piping, plumbing, duct work is all being put in. Photos We also made final choices for the furniture design and color for the lab. office spaces.
  • October 21st-25th: The walls are going up! Photos
  • October 14-18th: Work is continuing! Still demolishing the labs and removing walls, panels, ducting etc. The skip is now full of ducting and breeze blocks! Work slowed down this week by the elevator in the building not working for three days. To see this week's progress, here are the photos.
  • October 7-11th: Work started on renovating the Walker and Gelb lab spaces. The first task is to demolish some of the partition walls so that the new walls can be put in. This has been mostly completed this week, and the skip outside is full of breeze blocks! The space looks very different with all of the walls removed. Here are some photos.

September 2002

  • September 13th: Problem! The renovation work has to be bid out as the project costs too much for Washington University's standing renovation contract. So there is a pre-bid meeting on Monday September 16th for the 5 contractors to come and do their measurements of the space. They will then have approximately 2 weeks to put their bid together. Once a contractor's bid has been accepted, work will begin withina week. So we have a 3 week delay or so... There is some good news - the long lead-time items like the lab. fume hood and air handling units (for the air conditioning) have been ordered so that they will be here when the work begins.
  • September 13th (continued): I've finally got around to drawing a rough sketch of the new lab space for the Gelb and Walker labs. Sketch

August 2002

  • Asbestos abatement and lab space demolition scheduled for August 15th or so - once the teaching labs have moved out!
  • August 19th: The lab before the renovation starts - asbestos abatement begins tomorrow! The labs will be next door to the Gelb group labs, which are also being renovated at the same time. So I'm showing photos of both labs. Photos
  • August 30th: The labs have been gutted and the asbestos removed. Renovation work begins next week. Here are the photos of the gutted labs. It looks very different......

July 2002

  • Second draft of the lab space. We also received elevation views.
  • A change in plans! Prior to the beginning of July I was planning to build a "BioToF" type TOF SIMS. However, at the beginning of July I was offerred the possibility of buying a refurbished ION TOF instrument. This meant that the instrument lab requirements changed - including the addition of a compressed air line.
  • A change in plans! The architects and engineers also realised that the crates for the ToF SIMS instrument wouldn't fit throught the existing lab doors. Solution: Uncrate the TOF SIMS instrument outside of the lab.
  • At the end of July the final plans were drawn up to send out to bid.....

April/May/June 2002

  • Sketched out the space, cooling water, a/c, vibration and power requirements.
    • Here are some copies of  the notes I made in response to André's queries. email 1, email 2, email 3, email 4
    • I also took photos of the lab at Penn State (Winograd Lab at Penn State) to explain some of the details. Photos
    • And made an Excel spreadsheet of the power and cooling water requirements needed. Spreadsheet
    • a/c requirements were set to be 65 +/- 2 F and ~50 % humidity. This is because in TOF SIMS instruments, there are very high voltages used (up to 30 kV).
    • A TOF SIMS is ~8.5 feet high +2-3 feet of "free" space needed to remove the flight tube can so I also had to check that the lab ceiling was high enough!
    • Since my research uses an imaging ToF SIMS microscope, we also checked the level of floor vibration using an accelerometer.
  • Met with the architects and engineers to explain the details of my lab requirements.
  • The architect designed from our discussion the first draft of the lab space (June 2002).
  • One of the largest questions the architects and engineers had was what did I want my instrument lab to look like. Specifically, where did I want to put services and instrumentation. To answer this I drew a sketch of my idea. Sketch The sketch included a possible requirement for double doors into the lab, which we decided were not required
  • As part of the design process, Wash U.'s project manager needed to know both the type and amounts of chemical storage that I required. To estimate this, I used the current chemical inventory of the lab where I post doc'ed (Winograd Lab at Penn State ).