One of the most common problems faced by lab refurbishment in Malaysia is the lack of existing and accurate documentation. These include building blueprints, maintenance records, and inspection reports. Due to the absence of these documents, lab refurbishments in Malaysia run into a series of problems. As a result of this, the cost of the refurbishment rises tenfold. In order to combat these skyrocketing prices, many labs have started to find firms that specialize in lab refurbishments. One such firm is the MDC Planners. The firm assigns a dedicated team of professionals to the process of lab refurbishment of the lab in question.
This team is made up of a series of smaller, more specific discipline based teams such as planning, design, construction, environmental, and health and safety teams among others.
- The Design Team.
The design team carries out the on-site inspection during the planning and analysis phase of the project. This is done in order to make up for the lack of proper documentation in the form of blueprints and other such records. An on site investigation may range from a simple visual observation to a full 3-D laser scanning and modeling.
- The Environmental Health Team.
The environmental health team ensures that the refurbishment project does not damage the existing environment that surrounds the lab. Throughout the process of the refurbishment the environmental health team’s observations impact every major decision such as site selection, suitability of the building for occupancy, and community relations. This team is also responsible for making sure that the refurbishment process follows all the federal, state, and local regulations, codes that affect construction and operation of laboratories. The environmental health team also looks into whether the refurbishment process is environmentally sound, that is, it does not cause major spikes in the pollution levels. It also guarantees that the project adheres to the location’s legislation when it comes to the management and disposal of hazardous waste, controlling chemical vapour emissions, and liquid effluents.
- The Health and Safety Team.
The health and safety team has to work with the lab that has hired them to develop a health and safety program to protect the workers who are supposed to be working on site. Whether it is protection against natural causes, man made disasters, on site complications, or issues caused due to prolonged exposure to hazardous material. The team is responsible for the selection of the correct fume hood. The selection, placement, and installment of the fume hood is part of the most important bit of safety regulation required to guarantee the safety of the workers. The team also ensures that the on site working space is properly ventilated. The ventilation system is directly dependent on the hood system. The density of the hood system impacts the design of the ventilation system because of the large amount of air that is to be exhausted out of the lab. The ventilation system of any laboratory, big or small, must satisfy two factors, occupational health and occupant comfort. Occupational health is achieved through the proper installation of the hood systems and occupant comfort is achieved through heating and humidifying the air in winter and cooling it down during summers.