Click here to load reader

SCIENCE ACCOMMODATION in SECONDARY …science.cleapss.org.uk/Resource/Building-Bulletin-80.pdfincludes: whole class practical ... ‘Science Accommodation in Secondary Schools’ revised

  • View
    214

  • Download
    2

Embed Size (px)

Text of SCIENCE ACCOMMODATION in SECONDARY...

  • 1

    SCIENCE ACCOMMODATIONin SECONDARY SCHOOLS

    Building Bulletin 80 (revised 2004)

    Schools Building and Design Unit (SBDU)

    A Design Guide

  • 2

    Contents

    Introduction 3

    Section 1: Planning the Suite 5

    Section 2: The Laboratory 10

    Section 3: Support Spaces 33

    Section 4: Furniture, Equipment and Finishes 38

    Section 5: Environmental Design and Services 48

    References 51

    Key to symbols 54

    AcknowledgementsThis document is a revised version of Building Bulletin 80 published in 1999. It excludesthe original sections 6 and 7. This revised version was prepared by:

    Lucy Watson, Alison Wadsworth and Richard Daniels,Schools Building and Design Unit (SBDU), Department for Education and Skills

    In consultation with:

    John Lawrence, Deputy Chief Executive, Association for Science Education

    Andy Piggott, Project Officer for Laboratory Design for Teaching andLearning, Association for Science Education

    Dr Peter Borrows, Director, Consortium of Local Education Authorities for theProvision of Science Services

    Ian Richardson HMI, Ofsted

    Crown copyright 2004Extracts from this document may be reproduced for non-commercial ortraining purposes on the condition that the source is acknowledged.

  • 3

    This document offers guidance to thoseconcerned with the provision of scienceaccommodation, whether through newconstruction or the adaptation of existingbuildings. It is aimed at teachers,governors, local education authorityadvisers, building professionals and otherswho may be involved in the briefing anddesign process.

    The document is based on BuildingBulletin 80 Science Accommodation inSecondary Schools1 and has beenupdated to reflect current thinking onsecondary school design and on scienceeducation. Key issues that influenced thechanges to the laboratory layouts weregreater inclusion of pupils with specialeducational needs and increased use ofICT. This is a shorter version of theoriginal Building Bulletin and it excludescase study and cost sections.

    Science is a core National Curriculumsubject at all key stages (KS). Post-16courses are widely taught in schools.Exciting and relevant practical activitiesare an essential part of science learningand the science curriculum requirespractical work at all levels. Most lessonscontain a mixture of practical and non-practical activities. The range of activitiesincludes: whole class practicaldemonstrations, presentation anddiscussion; small group experimentalwork; discussion and research. The use ofICT is increasing rapidly - for research,presentations and data logging andsometimes for simulating experimentsthat are too expensive or time consumingto carry out live in a school.

    In order to meet the needs of a full rangeof teaching and learning activities, scienceis normally taught in servicedlaboratories. This gives teachersflexibility to plan and deliver goodteaching and learning activities.

    The learning environment makes animportant contribution to staffrecruitment and retention and pupilsenjoyment of science. A recent survey of1000 11 to 16 year old pupils found thatpoorly lit spaces with out-dated furniturewere one of the factors contributing topupils dislike of science.2 The BuildingSchools for the Future initiative (BSF)3

    gives an opportunity to provide suitableand attractive spaces that stimulate pupilslearning.

    This document will help to ensureappropriate accommodation is providedbut it is not meant to be prescriptive. Theplanning diagrams and room layoutsillustrate key principles; they are not theonly solutions. The amount ofcurriculum time spent on science, the wayin which the subject is delivered and thewhole schools approach to learning willall need to be reflected in theaccommodation brief. The designsolution must be flexible and adaptableenough to take account of both currentand future needs.

    The accommodation needs of scienceshould be considered in the context ofthe whole school development plan and itis important that science staff and pupilsare consulted about their teaching andlearning needs before an accommodationbrief is drawn up. It is recommended thatthe brief is developed in partnership withlocal education authority (or other)specialist advisers and buildingprofessionals. It is important to setplanning targets to suit available resourcesand to look for value for money in allsolutions.

    The software Laboratory Design forTeaching and Learning which is availableat www.ase.org.uk/ldtl/ includes auseful planning tool for use whendeveloping a brief. It also containsguidance which provides a usefulcomplement to this publication.

    1 Building Bulletin 80,Science Accommodation inSecondary Schools revised1999 published by TSO.

    2 This 2003 survey was part ofthe Science Studios for theFuture project looking at thefacilities that will meet theneeds of students andteachers into the future, jointlypromoted by the InnovationUnit at the DfES andBedfordshire LEA.

    3 The BSF programme aims toreplace all secondary schoolsover a ten to fifteen yearperiod from 2005-6, subject tofuture public spendingdecisions. Capital funding hasincreased significantly recentlyand will increase to 5bn in2005-6.

    Introduction

  • 4

    There are no specific middle school plansillustrated in this document although partof the KS3 curriculum will be taught inthese schools. However, many of theplanning principles described in Section 1and the detailed information on servicingand furniture systems in other sectionswill apply.

    The information in this publicationbegins with a broad outline ofaccommodation requirements, followedby more detailed guidance; a summary ofthe content is given here.

    Section 1: Planning the Suite outlinesthe range of spaces usually required andlooks at a range of generic departmentalplans.

    Section 2: The Laboratory looks at thelink between activities and facilities. Itprovides guidance on servicesdistribution, servicing systems and spaceplanning. A number of furnished plansare illustrated.

    Section 3: Support Spaces providesguidance on the teaching and non-teaching spaces supporting thelaboratories.

    Section 4: Furniture, Equipment andFinishes covers items used in thelaboratory and preparation room,complementing Sections 2 and 3. It alsoprovides guidance on surface finsishes.

    Section 5: Environmental Design andServices gives general guidance onlighting, heating and ventilation and onservices installations.

    A list of references provides a useful guideto further information.

    Introduction

  • 5

    Section 1: Planning the Suite

    The range of spaces in a sciencedepartment is likely to includelaboratories, preparation and storagespace and staff office(s). There may alsobe supplementary teaching andnon-teaching areas. The guidance in thissection refers mainly to individuallaboratories in enclosed rooms, reflectingthe most typical pattern in existingschools. Alternative arrangements arepossible as long as safety andenvironmental (including acoustic)requirements are met.

    Teaching SpacesThe science curriculum requires practicalwork at all levels and in order to giveteachers greater flexibility in lessonplanning, science is normally taught inlaboratories. Most lessons contain amixture of activities, which may includepresentation, discussion, research orcarrying out practical experiments. Theactivities that take place and the facilitiesthey generate are described in more detailin Section 2. ICT, in the form of desktopor laptop computers and interactivewhiteboards, is used increasingly forinvestigatory work, data logging,presentations and simulating experiments.

    Number of LaboratoriesWhether a new science block is beingconsidered or existing accommodationadapted, the schools current and plannedcurricular, timetabling and staffingarrangements will need to be analysed inorder to assess the number of laboratoriesthat are required.

    Group sizes and the amount ofcurriculum time spent on science will varyfrom school to school. If groups aresmaller, more laboratories will be needed

    but they can be correspondingly smaller.The curriculum time per pupil (as apercentage of the whole) may range from10 - 15% at KS3 (the typical average is12%) and 10 - 30% at KS4 with a currentaverage of 20%. Post-16 courses take 20%or 40% depending on the type of course.

    Figure 1/1 shows two tables. The firstshows the number of spaces that aregenerated by a typical 11 to 16curriculum model, for a range of schoolsizes. The second table shows thenumber of spaces that are generated byadding different post-16 curriculummodels to the typical 11 to 16 one.Model A reflects an average take-up ofscience which generates one group perscience subject with an extra group in thelarger schools. Model B reflects a post-16curriculum which includes a vocationalcourse. The 11-18 models assume ahome grown sixth form of average size.If post-16 numbers are significantly larger(perhaps due to intake at year 12) a largernumber of post-16 spaces (calculated)will be applicable.

    Figure 1/1 shows the average frequencyof use of the spaces, that is timetabled usecompared to availability. The higher thefigure, the more efficiently a space isbeing used. Schools will probably find itdifficult to achieve a frequency of usehigher than around 85% for sciencebecause of the complexities of timetablingand the need for technicians to servicelaboratories. The models shown here aretherefore based on a maximum frequencyof use of 85-86%. Alternative figureswith 87-90% frequency of use are shownreflecting what can be achieved. Thetable shows that the post-16 periodsgenerate one additional space in Model Aand 2 or 3 additional spaces in Model B.Providing three dedicated sixth formscience laboratories is, in most cases,unnecessary. See Size of Laboratorybelow for further discussion on this.

    This section outlines the main points to be consideredwhen planning a suite of science spaces. It looks atthe number, size and type of teaching andnon-teaching space and a series of generic plan typesindicates the key relationships between spaces.

  • 6

    B 600 750 900 1050 1200 13504fe 5fe 6fe 7fe 8fe 9fe

    post-16 TPs 50 50 50 60 60 60

    post-16 spaces (calculated) 2 2 2 2.4 2.4 2.4

    total number spaces (calculated) 5.68 6.84 7.6 8.76 9.52 10.68

    number spaces (rounded)1 7 8 9 11 12 13

    frequency/use 81% 86% 84% 80% 79% 82%

    or or10 @ 88% 11 @ 87%

    TABLE 1: 11-16 model

    600 750 900 1050 1200 13504fe 5fe 6fe 7fe 8fe 9fe

    KS3 & 4 TPs 92 121 130 159 178 207

    number spaces (calculated) 3.68 4.84 5.2 6.36 7.12 8.28

    number spaces (rounded)1 5 6 7 8 9 10

    frequency of use 74% 81% 74% 80% 79% 83%

    or8 @ 89%

    Figure 1/1Numbers of Spaces for aTypical Range of Schools

    Section 1: Planning the Suite

    Notes1 Where rounding up to thenearest whole number willresult in a frequency of usegreater than 90%, the nexthighest number of rooms isgiven.

    TABLE 2: 11-18 models (11-16 figures based on Table 1)

    A 600 750 900 1050 1200 13504fe 5fe 6fe 7fe 8fe 9fe

    post-16 TPs 30 30 30 40 40 40

    post-16 spaces (calculated) 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.6 1.6 1.6

    total number spaces (calculated) 4.88 6.08 6.8 7.96 8.72 9.88

    number spaces (rounded)1 6 7 8 10 11 12

    frequency of use 81% 86% 85% 80% 79% 82%

    or or9 @ 88% 10 @ 87%

    Note12% average curriculum timeKS3, 20% average curriculumtime KS4.

    FE groups Y7, FE+1 groupsY8 & 9, max group size 24Y10 & 11

    NoteOne group each sciencesubject 4fe-6fe, plus extragroup 7fe-8fe (20% curriculumtime)

    NoteAs model A plus a vocationalgroup (40% curriculum time)

    KEY

    TPs = teaching periods

    fe = forms of entry

    KS = key stage

    Y = year

  • 7

    Section 1: Planning the Suite

    Size of LaboratoryThe size of a laboratory will depend on themaximum expected group size rather thanthe calculated average. The graph in Figure1/2 shows suggested area ranges accordingto group size.2 A range of 83- 99m2 (zoneF) is recommended for a group of 30 KS3/4 pupils. Laboratories from Zone E (70-83 m2 for up to 30 KS 3/4 pupils) may bepossible but will limit the activities andchoice of furniture used.3 The range ofactivities being undertaken, the level ofstorage kept in the laboratory, the numberof pupils with special needs, and the type offurniture system used can all affect arearequirements. Section 2 provides furtherinformation on the size and shape of thelaboratory and illustrates a number ofspaces of 90m2 for a maximum group sizeof 30 pupils.

    Post-16 students need more area thanyounger pupils mainly because of the spaceneeded for experimental work which isgenerally done individually rather than inpairs, often using more equipment. Theymay also need to set up a long termexperiment. A space of 90m2 which issuitable for 30 KS3 pupils willaccommodate up to 20 post-16 students.There may be more non-practical workcarried out at post-16 level some of whichcould take place in a general teachingclassroom, although this would reduceflexibility for timetabling.

    If all the laboratories in the suite are thesame size, and able to accommodate thelikely maximum group size schools will beable to timetable their spaces more flexibly.These spaces can be used by smaller post-16groups. It may be useful to designate onespace in the suite for the older pupils so thatexperiments can be set up and leftundisturbed. However, in some situations,for example where a school has enoughsmall post-16 science groups to justify thearrangement it may be appropriate toprovide some smaller specialist laboratories.

    Other Learning SpacesIt is useful to have somewhere forpost- 16 students to set up long termexperiments. This may be in a part of a

    laboratory (see above and Section 2) or ina small science project room. Someschools may have supplementary resourceareas such as a greenhouse ormicrobiology room. Externally anenvironmental area may be provided,possibly used in conjunction with agreenhouse.

    Non-Teaching Support SpacesPreparation and storage areas are neededto support the teaching spaces. A totalarea of 0.4 0.5m2 per workplace(a figure based on an analysis of a numberof existing schools) can be used as aguide. The upper end of the range maybe needed where there are post-16students to accommodate additional ormore bulky resources. If a greenhouse isprovided, there should be somewheresecure and convenient to storeequipment. Where laboratories aredispersed or on two floors this figure mayneed to be increased to allow for theinevitable duplication of some resources.

    Staff will need somewhere to holdmeetings and do preparation work. Thisis usually provided by a departmental staffbase which can also be used for the securestorage of paperwork such as pupilsrecords. It may also double as a localsocial base depending on the schoolsarrangements for staff rooms throughoutthe school.

    130

    120

    110

    100

    90

    80

    70

    60

    50

    40

    30

    20

    10

    05 10 15 20 25 30

    10 + 2G

    15 + 2.8G

    11 + 2.4G

    Group size (G): Number of pupils

    Area of Space (m2)

    F

    E

    Notes2 The graph is based on theformulae shown alongside,where G = group size. It isextracted from Building Bulletin98 (BB98), Briefing Frameworkfor Secondary Schools.

    3 In the net capacityassessment method, a lightpractical space of more than83m2 gives 30 workplaces.

    Figure 1/2Area range for scienceaccording to group size

  • 8

    Preparationand storage

    Lab

    Lab

    Lab Lab

    Lab Lab

    Lab

    Lab

    Main approachto science suite

    Other

    departments

    Staffbaseand

    securestore

    Disp

    lay

    Greenhouse

    Access to environmentalarea (if ground floor)

    Section 1: Planning the Suite

    Display

    Staff baseand

    securestore

    Display

    Greenhouse

    Preparationand storage

    Lab Lab

    Lab

    Lab

    Lab

    Class

    Main approach to science suite

    Access to environmental area(if ground floor)

    Class

    Otherdepartments

    Otherdepartments

    Figure 1/3Linear Plan

    Figure 1/4Central Preparation Room

    Planning PrinciplesFigures 1/3 to 1/6 show four plan types:linear; grouped around a preparationroom; grouped around a courtyard; andlinear on two floors. These reflect typicalorganisational patterns, each oneconforming to the following principleswhich aim to provide an efficient andintegrated suite of spaces.

    Laboratories are grouped together.This enables common resources to beshared, and gives equal access to supportspaces.

    There is only one preparation area foreach floor of laboratories. This providesa more economical use of space,equipment and technicians time. If apreparation room is centrally positioned,travel distances to each laboratory areminimised.

    The departmental base is centrallylocated. This provides ease of access forstaff. Whatever the plan type, circulationroutes should allow for the adequatemovement of equipment, trolleys andpeople (including those using wheelchairs).

    There is easy access to a shelteredoutside space that can provide anenvironmental area and/or a greenhouse.If laboratories are on an upper floor itmay still be possible to make use of aterraced area.

    The key features of the four generic plantypes are outlined below. These diagramsare relevant to a variety of approaches.Whatever planning solution it isimportant that the possibility of futureadaptation is considered and that there isadequate circulation to allow freemovement of staff and pupils includingthose with disabilities.

    Linear Plan (Figure 1/3)This plan is more suited to a school withup to six laboratories where they are closeenough together to feel like a suite andtechnicians can reach the rooms easily.For a school with more than sevenlaboratories the distance between thepreparation room and some of thelaboratories becomes inconvenient andthe suite may be too dispersed. Theadvantage of this plan type is thatcirculation is efficient because laboratoriesare on two sides of the corridor. It canalso facilitate links with adjoiningdepartments, allowing resources to beshared; for example, with design andtechnology. Staff and display areas canalso be shared.

    Central Preparation room(Figure 1/4)This plan is most suitable for schools withmore than seven laboratories. It isconvenient for the technicians becausethe preparation room is central to thesuite, but there is no view out and in atwo storey building there may be nodaylight. The disposition of the plan

  • 9

    Section 1: Planning the Suite

    Display

    Preparationand storage

    Lab Lab Lab

    LabLab

    Otherdepartments

    Otherdepartments

    Hoist

    Staffbaseand

    securestore

    Stairs

    Stairs

    Display

    Greenhouse

    Preparationand storage

    Lab Lab

    LabLab

    Staffbaseand

    securestore

    Main approach to science suite

    Environmentalarea

    Otherdepartments

    Otherdepartments

    Hoist

    Ground Floor

    First Floor

    Figure 1/6Linear On Two Floors

    Figure 1/5Central Courtyard

    Preparationand storage

    Courtyard

    Lab

    Lab

    Lab Lab LabLab

    Lab

    LabLab

    Main approachto science suite

    Possible location forenvironmental area

    and greenhouse

    Otherdepartments

    Greenhouse

    Staffbaseand

    securestore

    Display

    Other

    Access to environmental area(if ground floor)

    makes the suite easy to define but it maybe less easy to establish links with otherdepartments or to expand in the future.

    Central Courtyard(Figure 1/5)This plan is less compact than theprevious one with greater distances frompreparation room to laboratory. Thetechnicians enjoy a view of the outsideand the enclosed and secure courtyardcan be used for some practical activities,and could accommodate a greenhouse orenvironmental area, becoming an integralpart of the suite of teaching spaces.

    Linear On Two Floors(Figure 1/6)Extending the suite on to two floors maybe the best solution in some buildings,and it does share some of the advantagesof the linear plan (ease of inter-departmental links and ease of extension).In a large school it may also help to breakdown the scale of the suite.

    The main disadvantage of this plan is thatpreparation and storage facilities aredivided between the floors. A lift, whichwould be required for disabled access,could also be used for transporting heavypieces of equipment such as gas cylinders(on trolleys). However, if a lift is notconveniently placed, a hoist may berequired.

  • 10

    Section 2: The Laboratory

    Figure 2/1Whole class discussion

    Figure 2/2aSmall group practical work

    This section provides guidance on all themain aspects of planning a laboratory. Itis divided into five parts.

    Activities in the Laboratory.

    The Size and Shape of the Laboratory.

    A Planning Strategy.

    Services Distribution.

    Serviced Systems.

    This is followed by examples of furnishedroom layouts using a variety ofserviced systems.

    A laboratory should be flexible enough to respond to awide and varying range of activities. The size of thespace, the method of distributing services, and thechoice of furniture system will all affect the way inwhich it can be used.

    Activities in theLaboratoryThere are certain basic activities commonto all areas of science which may beidentified as having an effect on thedesign of the laboratory. These activitiescan be categorised into three main areas.

    Whole class activities.

    Individual or small group practicalactivities.

    Individual or small group non-practical activities.

    These activities and the facilities generallyassociated with them are described below.

    Whole class activities (Figure 2/1)Activities that take place as a whole classinclude discussion, presentation (either bya teacher or pupil) and demonstration ofan experiment (real or simulated). Somekind of whole class activity is likely at thebeginning and end of a lesson even wherethe remainder of the time is spentworking in smaller groups (see below).

    The following facilities are likely to beneeded:

    access to a variety of media includingvideo, overhead projector, interactivewhiteboard or remote portable tablet;

    somewhere for pupils to take notes;

    teachers access to a serviced unit andpossibly a fume cupboard whendemonstrating a live experiment;

    space for all pupils to gather aroundand see clearly a demonstration at theteachers (or other serviced) area.

    All pupils including those in wheelchairsshould be able to see the whiteboard orvideo screen clearly and ideally get to thewhiteboard easily to allow them to fullyparticipate.

  • 11

    Section 2: The Laboratory

    Figure 2/2bSmall group non-practicalwork.

    Individual or small groupactivities: practical (Figure 2/2a)Increased scientific investigation by pupilsis now commonplace in laboratories.Although some will be simulated, pupilswill carry out experiments, either in smallgroups of two or three or (mostcommonly at post-16 level) individually.This will require:

    access to a full range of services;

    sufficient space for pupils to worksafely at serviced units and for teachersto get to the pupils for observation orin the case of an emergency;

    ready access to a range of basicresources, such as bunsen burners,mats and tripods;

    access to a computer to log andanalyse data during experiments or tocarry out virtual experiments.

    Individual or small groupactivities: non-practical(Figure 2/2b)Non-practical activities can includeinformation gathering, planning orwriting up experiments and small groupdiscussion. Pupils may work individuallyor in groups of two, three or sometimesup to eight. These activities will require:

    table space for writing up notes orusing text books;

    layout arrangement which allows asmall group of pupils to gathertogether for discussion andpresentation;

    access to networked computers forretrieving information or for writingup reports;

    sufficient space to allow teachers tocirculate amongst different groups ofpupils.

    Occasionally a teacher may address asmall group rather than the whole classfor briefing, demonstration or discussion.Sufficient area around pupils servicedunits should therefore be provided withthe option of an additional whiteboardaway from the teachers area a distinctadvantage.

    Use of ICTAccess to computers can be provided invarious ways including:

    a bank of laptops per lab;

    a run of desktop computers at theback of the lab;

    a computer resource bay in the sciencesuite (here pupils would be requiredto leave the laboratory withoutsupervision);

    a booked ICT classroom shared withthe rest of the school.

    Laptops have the advantage that they areportable and require less space thandesktops. They can be used anywhere fornon-practical work and can be positionednext to serviced units for activities such asdata logging during an experiment. Itmay be necessary to consider networkingoutlets in serviced units for informationsretrieval. Current concerns aboutrobustness and high cost may beaddressed as technology develops. Someschools prefer desktops, however they areoften difficult to position next toexperiments unless they are on trolleysand wheeled up to the serviced units.Space may also restrict the numbers ofdesktops that can fit in a standard sizedlab. This may not be practical for a classof 30 all wishing to download data oraccess information at the same time.

  • 12

    Section 2: The Laboratory

    The size and shape of thelaboratoryFigure 1/2 in Section 1 shows an arearange of 83-99m2 (Zone F) for a groupof 30 KS3/4 pupils. An area from themiddle of this range will allow a class toundertake the activities identified abovein safety and comfort and takes accountof the needs of pupils in wheelchairs. Thisarea will be suitable for up to around 20post 16 students including 1 or 2 fumecupboards, assuming they are ducted.An area from the upper end of the rangemay be appropriate where a small centralpreparation area necessitates an increasein local storage (although this is notrecommended in a new building),where the quantity of equipment isgreater than average or where a bank ofdesktop computers is provided at theback of the room. An area from theupper end may also be needed for a sixthform group bigger than 20 if a significantamount of large additional equipment isrequired (eg 2 or 3 fume cupboards).

    At the lower end of the range the choiceof servicing system and careful planningof the layout becomes more critical andcompromises may have to be made in theprovision of equipment. As the size of thelaboratory reduces, it becomesincreasingly important to ensure carefulsupervision of practical work to maintainsafe working practices. A laboratory of

    70-83m2 (Zone E in Figure 1/2) mayaccommodate 30 KS3/4 pupils but therewill be a significant reduction in theprovision of furniture and equipment andthere may be, as a result, a limitation inthe range of activities taking place.

    All the laboratories shown in this section(Figures 2/11 to 2/25) are 90m2 for up to30 KS3/4 pupils (the middle of Zone F).

    The shape of the space is almost asimportant as its size. A simple rectangularshape allows for flexibility of layout andenables good supervision and sightlines.Rooms that are too long and narrow aredifficult to plan; viewing distances may betoo long or viewing angles too wide (seeFigure 2/3). Pupils may find it difficultto hear the teacher from the back of avery long room. In a space of 90m2, adepth of between 8.5m and 9m (i.e.proportions from 1:0.8 to 1:1.1) suits avariety of furniture systems and avoidsmost of the problems listed above.Particular consideration must be given toventilation and lighting in deeper spaces(See section 5).

    A planning strategySchools may find it useful to establish aplanning strategy for the laboratory.They may want to ensure that, regardlessof the servicing system used, a suitableenvironment will be provided that iscapable of responding in a flexible way tothe activities taking place.

    The serviced system layouts in this sectionare based on the zoning diagramillustrated in Figure 2/4 and the planningstrategy outlined below. A group size ofaround 30 pupils is assumed (althoughthe general principles apply to othergroup sizes too).

    A usable work surface area of at least0.3m2 per pupil is provided.

    An adjustable table for a wheelchairuser and an additional seat for anassistant is provided. This is generallypositioned with a direct view of thewhiteboard and as near to the door aspossible to avoid long routes.

    Angle of view too wide Awkward viewing distance

    Viewing distance too long

    Figure 2/3Viewing Distances

  • 13

    Section 2: The Laboratory

    All circulatory areas follow theplanning guidelines outlined inFigure 2/5.

    Each pupil has good access to a fullrange of services, with a minimum ofone gas tap, one socket outlet perpupil and one sink per 6 pupils.

    Each laboratory has one wash-up sinkwith hot and cold water.

    The main teaching wall provides afocus for whole class discussion,presentation and demonstration.There is a serviced unit with built inprovision for computer networkconnection, a loose table of 2m (insome cases two), a fume cupboard andan interactive whiteboard.

    A clear area in front of the teacherstable is provided to allow pupils togather together for briefing sessionsand demonstration of experimentswith sufficient space to use a fumecupboard when needed (see FumeCupboards, Section 4).

    As the fume cupboard shown isassumed to be mobile, an alternativepulled out position is shown.

    Whenever possible, pupils face the mainteaching wall in order to get a clearview of the teacher, the whiteboard andother presentation media.

    Where possible the teaching wall isplaced at 90o to the external wall, tominimise glare or screen reflectionsfrom the window.

    In centrally based servicing systemsone wall is designated a bench wallwhich is ideally the external wall. Hereperimeter benching is used asadditional shared work surface, withmobile tray and cupboard unitsunderneath.

    Where possible one wall is designateda free wall without fixed furniturewhere trolleys for example can beparked. A second whiteboard is shownon the free wall to allow an alternativeposition for teaching and learningactivities.

    Where possible, one wall is designated astorage wall providing free standingstorage as well as horizontal displayand supplementary work surface. It isassumed that the storage units will beon braked castors to allow easy re-organisation. Wall mounted cupboardsare not used as they may be a potentialhazard if storage is not positionedunderneath. The storage is additionalto that on the bench wall. Thestorage wall may also provide analternative space to the free wall fortrolleys to park when resources arebeing delivered or picked up bytechnicians. For this reason it is bestplaced next to the entrance.

    Storage of between 4m3 and 6m3,concentrated above and below theperimeter benching, is provided forlocal resources and display. Thisassumes a separate preparation area ofthe size recommended in Section 3.

    Laptop computers are assumed, with aposition for a laptop trolley shown onthe free or storage wall. Where abank of computers is required it couldbe positioned on the storage wall,usually at 90o to the window.

    A storage facility is included for pupilscoats and bags adjacent to the doorand the teacher.

    A clear floor length of around 3m isallowed within the circulation routefor runway experiments.

    Figure 2/4Zoning diagram

    Main Teaching W

    all

    Free Wall

    Bench Wall

    Storage Wall

    Alternative

    Exit

    Entrance

    Main Teaching Area(centrally or perimeter serviced)

    Gath

    ering

    zon

    e

  • 14

    Planning for safetyThe spaces shown in this section havebeen planned with health and safety inmind. Means of escape in case of fire isan important consideration in a practicalactivity such as science and Part B of theBuilding Regulations1 must be adheredto. In these plans, a second door is shownleading to another space which providesan alternative means of escape in case offire. In ground floor laboratories a doorleading directly to the outside is desirableand there may be circumstances where asecond door onto the corridor is needed.A second door becomes more importanton floors other than the ground floor.

    It is important to allow adequatedistances between furniture andequipment in laboratories to allow pupilsand staff (including those in wheelchairs)to move around safely, particularly duringpractical sessions. Figure 2/5 provides aguide to the distances required betweenfurniture. The information is based on BSEN 14056: 2003 with additionaldimensions given for space around doorsetc. Space allocation should fall withinthe range illustrated and will depend onthe amount of circulation required, andthe type of layout and activities envisaged.Where possible, maximum circulationdistances are used to enable access to allareas of the laboratory for wheelchairusers.

    The fume cupboard is positioned awayfrom the fire exit or main circulationroutes with good access for groups ofpupils during demonstrations. Safedistances around fume cupboards aregiven in Building Bulletin 88.2

    Section 2: The Laboratory

    Notes1 Approved Document B-FireSafety, The Stationery Office2000.

    2 Department for Educationand Employment FumeCupboards in Schools(Revision of DN 29).BB 88, TSO 1998.

  • 15

    900-1050

    Section 2: The Laboratory

    Figure 2/5Safe Distances

    1050-14001400-1650

    900-1050 1050-1200

    1350-1500

    4

    21

    5

    3

    6

    Circulation Pupils and table Coats and bagsstorage

    Key

  • 16

    Section 2: The Laboratory

    working level

    floor level

    floor level

    1 Services fed from floor ducts

    2 Services fed from ceiling void below

    suspended ceiling

    workinglevel

    floor level

    floor level

    Figure 2/7Perimeter Servicing

    Figure 2/6Underfloor Servicing

    Services distributionServices distribution within a laboratorycan have a significant effect on futurebuilding adaptations, maintenance andthe choice of furniture that can beaccommodated. There are three mainoptions for the distribution of serviceswithin the laboratory.

    Underfloor (Figure 2/6).

    Perimeter (Figure 2/7).

    Overhead (Figure 2/8).

    Within each option there are variationsand sometimes two systems may becombined. The systems need to servicethree different ways of arranging the

    serviced units and work surface layoutarrangement (in some cases these may becombined):

    peninsular, where the furnitureprojects from the walls into the roomat 90o;

    island, where furniture stands in thecentre of the room;

    perimeter, where furniture ispositioned against a wall and does notproject into the room.

    Some systems may work with all threefurniture arrangements, some will bemore appropriate to just one.

    UnderfloorIn this option, services may either be runin ducts set into the floor withvarying degrees of accessibility or locatedin the ceiling void of the room below.Services reach bench top level via rigid orflexible connections usually encasedwithin furniture.

    The advantages of this system include:

    Perimeter, peninsular and islandbenching layouts can be serviced.

    The laboratory looks neat with noexposed servicing cables or pipes.

    The disadvantages of the system are:

    Water supplies and drainage needcareful separation from electricalservices in floor ducts.

    If services are distributed in the ceilingvoid of the room below, modificationsand maintenance will disrupt thisroom.

    As serviced units have to be locatedover floor outlets, there is limitedscope for re-positioning.

    In an existing building it may difficultto run services in ground floor roomswith concrete floors.

  • 17

    Section 2: The Laboratory

    working level

    floor level

    floor level

    possible suspended ceiling

    Figure 2/8Overhead Servicing

    PerimeterPerimeter service ducts are usually locatedat bench level or below, withdrainage at a low level.

    The advantages of this system are:

    services may come into the room fromone point and then be threadedthrough the furniture;

    all services, including drainage, areaccessible from the space they servesimplifying maintenance and futurechanges;

    services are less likely to be damagedsince they can be concealed bybenching. The appearance of thelaboratory is also more tidy.

    The disadvantages of the system are:

    benching often needs to be linkedtogether which may restrict teacheraccess to pupils in the case of anaccident;

    services may have to be routed arounddoor openings etc;

    where services are fixed to internalpartitions this can restrict futureplanning changes.

    As a laboratory may be serviced from oneperimeter supply point and services arekept separate from the building fabric,the system is particularly suitable forconversion or upgrading work.

    OverheadIn this option services run at high level inone of three ways: in trunking which issuspended below ceiling level, in arecessed ceiling duct or in the ceiling voidwith a network of outlets set into thefinished surface. Services are distributedto the furniture below by means offlexible pipes or cables hung from a boomrunning along the length or width of theclassroom. Overhead supplies aregenerally combined with a gravitydrainage system incorporating a networkof floor outlets serving island sink units.Alternatively sinks may be provided only

    at the perimeter. Pumped or vacuumdrainage systems which run in theoverhead ducts are also a possibilityalthough such systems can havesignificant maintenance implications.

    The advantages of this system are:

    perimeter, peninsular and islandbenching layouts can be serviced in avariety of configurations;

    there is flexibility in the location offurniture;

    services are readily accessible fromwithin the laboratory which cansimplify maintenance and allowadaptations to be carried out withoutdisrupting other spaces.

    The disadvantages of the system are:

    the servicing connections from ceilingto the working surface below canobstruct sight lines to the teachersposition;

    the vertical service droppers can lookuntidy and may be vulnerable todamage;

    currently available pump and vacuumdrainage systems involve floorstanding units which take up spaceand require regular and specialistmaintenance, some drainage systemsmay also be noisy.

  • 18

    Serviced SystemsThere are several systems which workwith one or all of the servicingdistribution methods outlined above.Systems which are flexible enough toallow a variety of layouts are highlydesirable. For example, it may beadvantageous to be able to move tables tocreate a clear floor area for certainactivities. The choice of system willdepend partly on the servicing methodthat is chosen, and on the level ofavailable resources. Furniture systems canbe divided broadly into the following fourgeneric types.

    Serviced spines.

    Serviced bollards.

    Serviced pods.

    Serviced furniture.

    Each system is described in the followingexamples and variations withineach type are illustrated in detail. All thelaboratories are the same size (90m2 )showing the effect that different systemsmay have on an identical space. The effectof room shape is also demonstrated byshowing each system laid out in twodepths of space (8.5m and 9m). Blackdots represent pupils with little or nodirect view of the teacher, this takesaccount of difficult viewing angles (seeFigure 2/3). Each layout has a data3 boxwhich summarises information on serviceand storage provision, the amount ofaccess and the level of working areadirectly available to a pupil. It also looksat the amount of area (expressed as apercentage of the overall circulation)which can be accessed by wheelchair usersor others with limited mobility. Anaccessibility study was also carried outwhich assessed the ease by whichwheelchair users could access eight keyareas of the laboratory and given a scoreof 1 to 4. These features included thewash up sink, fume cupboard, teacherstable etc. Access to a second whiteboardwas also assessed however in perimeterbased layouts where a second whiteboardwas not available a maximum score of upto 28 was given.

    Section 2: The Laboratory

    Figure 2/9Typical Serviced Spine

    Examples of ServicedSystem Layouts

    Serviced SpinesA serviced spine which can serve island,peninsula or perimeter table layouts is afreestanding serviced box incorporating anumber of outlets. A spine can provideboth dry and wet services and may be fedfrom overhead, under the floor or theperimeter. Spines may either be fixed orconnected via a flexible cable to the floor.In flexible connections the under-frameof the spine is often clamped to the tablesit serves. Most perimeter serviced spinesmust be clamped back to the wall.

    The key characteristics of all the servicedspine examples shown here are:

    a 1200 x 600mm table may be smallfor wheelchair users and theirassistant. A table increased in 600mmincrements allows it to be positionedalongside other tables used in thesystem;

    it is necessary with both versions toput the fixed benching on an internalwall which can be more expensive tofit as the drainage will have to berouted through to the external wall;

    as the system relies on perimeterservices it is not possible to have eithera free wall or loose storage wall.(See Planning Strategy above).

    Note3 Individual work area includesserviced units. Sink provisiondoes not include the wash-upsink.

  • 19

    Section 2: The Laboratory

    Spine & Perimeter Sink (Figure 2/10)A 1200 x 300mm spine carryinggas and power serves a series of 1200 x600mm and 1500 x 600mm tablesclamped around it. Water is provided by1500 x 600mm sink tables along theperimeter, although they could be fedfrom the floor or ceiling. To avoiddisruption to pupils working alongsidethe perimeter the sinks are positioned inthe centre of the table. The key featuresof the layouts shown here are that:

    because the 600mm deep perimetertable projects into the centre of theroom there are fewer problems withwide angle views of the whiteboardthan in Figure 2/11 below;

    the need for 600mm deep tablesaround the edge of the room results inless floor area for circulation whichlimits access to all areas of the lab for awheelchair user;

    working in modules of 1500mm and1800mm for the peninsula layoutsrestricts circulation and may preventwheelchair users from accessing theperimeter sinks;

    for stability tables must be positionedalong either side of the spine. Thisresults in 16, rather than 15 tables, for30 pupils;

    where there is a table opposite thewheelchair user it is recommendedthat it is used for one pupil only. Thisallows the disabled pupil anuninterrupted view of the teacher andwhiteboard;

    perimeter sinks may present problemsas spillages may occur when pupils aretaking water to their table groupings;

    some of the perimeter work surfacemay be inaccessible and thereforewasteful of space.

    Peninsular systems often work better inshallower rooms. In the 8.5m deeplaboratory there is more space around theteachers unit and less underused space inthe centre of the room than in the 9mdeep version.

    Figure 2/10a:Spine and Perimeter Sink (8.5m).

    A

    10000

    9000

    x

    1500

    15001800

    10600

    8500

    x

    A

    14001800

    1760

    19001500

    Individual work area p/p 0.75m2

    Side benching area p/p 0.14m2

    Storage 4.6m3

    Service Outlets p/p 2No of pupils per sink 6% of wheelchair access 87%Accessibility score 25 / 28% of pupils facing forwards 50%

    Figure 2/10b:Spine and Perimeter Sink (9m).

    90m2

    90m2

    Individual work area p/p 0.75m2

    Side benching area p/p 0.1m2

    Storage 4.05m3

    Service Outlets p/p 2No of pupils per sink 6% of wheelchair access 85%Accessibility score 27/ 28% of pupils facing forwards 50%

  • 20

    Section 2: The Laboratory

    Spine & Island Sink (Figure 2/11)A similar spine system to Figure 2/10 butin this case the spines, in additionto providing gas and power, carry waterand drainage to and from 1500 x 600mmsink tables. The layout is more flexiblebecause distances between the tables arenot restricted to the size of perimeterbased furniture. The key features of thelayouts shown here are that:

    sinks are accessible to all pupils;

    peninsula runs can be positionedanywhere along the perimeter ducting;

    some pupils sitting alongside theperimeter of the room have a wide-angled view of the teaching wallalthough there is adequate gatheringspace around the teachers servicedunit.

    Peninsular systems often work better inshallower rooms. In the 8.5m deeplaboratory there is more space around theteachers unit and less underused space inthe centre of the room than in the 9mdeep version.

    10000

    9000

    x

    1350

    1550

    A

    1650

    1250

    1500

    10600

    8500

    x

    1550

    A

    1650

    1250

    1650

    1850

    Individual work area p/p 0.61m2

    Side benching area p/p 0.13m2

    Storage 4.05m3

    Service Outlets p/p 2N of pupils per sink 3.75% of wheelchair access 92%Accessibility score 25 / 28% of pupils facing forwards 50%

    Individual work area p/p 0.61m2

    Side benching area p/p 0.14m2

    Storage 4.9m3

    Service Outlets p/p 2N of pupils per sink 3.75% of wheelchair access 84%Accessibility score 25 / 28% of pupils facing forwards 50%

    Figure 2/11b:Spine and Island Sink (9m).

    90m2

    90m2

    Figure 2/11a:Spine and Island Sink (8.5m).

  • 21

    Section 2: The Laboratory

    Serviced BollardsBollards (or pedestals) are usually fixedserviced units surrounded by loose(usually 1200 x 600mm) tables which canbe arranged in various ways, although thechoice of layout may be limited if space isrestricted. Bollards are usually servicedfrom under the floor in which case theposition of floor outlets determines thelocation of the bollards. However, someunits may be linked to either perimeter oroverhead servicing systems. Wet and dryservices may be provided in separateserviced bollards but they are usuallycombined in one unit.

    This section illustrates four variations onthe bollard system. Key characteristicscommon to each are noted below.

    Bigger tables in modular 600mincrements for wheelchair users caneasily be incorporated into the system.

    All pupils have a good view of theteacher.

    As furniture is based in the centre ofthe room, only one wall of fixedfurniture is necessary.

    Water is easily accessible alongsideother services.

    The run of underfloor services limitsbollard positions (including theteachers position) but if positions arecarefully considered at an early stagethen a number of table arrangementsare possible.

    Figure 2/12Typical Serviced Bollard900mm high.

    Some bollards higher than 900mmhave electric sockets on the side of theunit and therefore on a differentsurface from water. This does havethe disadvantage, however, that itemsplaced on the surface may fall off ontothe table below which could bedangerous and pupils may fiddle withoutlets hidden by the bollard.

    If the position of the bollard iscarefully considered, tables can berearranged in a variety of ways.However, the extent to which tablesare re-arranged depends on a numberof factors including the design of thetable, the condition of the floor andthe number of teachers using the samelaboratory.

  • 22

    1050

    1050

    1050

    1400

    10000

    9000

    x

    1050

    1050

    A

    1350

    1050

    1500

    1400

    1050

    1400

    10600

    8500

    1350

    A

    x

    1050

    Section 2: The Laboratory

    6 Person Bollard (Figure 2/13)A series of six floor serviced 600 x600mm bollards provide water, gas andelectricity for up to six pupils each. Thekey features of the layouts shown hereare:

    the gathering area around the teacheris not generous although tables can betemporarily moved for the duration ofa demonstration, discussion etc;

    the number of serviced units results inless floor area for circulation, limitingwheelchair access to some areas of thelab;

    it is necessary to have the secondwhiteboard opposite the window andthere is insufficient space to provide astorage wall.

    The 8.5m deep lab allows the fixed benchto be on the external wall which is moreconvenient for drainage. The 9m deepspace allows more space around theteachers unit and the fume cupboard tobe located away from the entrance.

    Individual work area p/p 0.44m2

    Side benching area p/p 0.15m2

    Storage 4.1m3

    Service Outlets p/p 1.6No of pupils per sink 5% of wheelchair access 89%Accessibility score 17 / 32% of pupils facing forwards 73%

    Individual work area p/p 0.44m2

    Side benching area p/p 0.15m2

    Storage 4.1m3

    Service Outlets p/p 1.6No of pupils per sink 5% of wheelchair access 89%Accessibility score 17 / 32% of pupils facing forwards 87%

    Figure 2/13b:6 Person Bollard (9m).

    90m2

    90m2

    Figure 2/13a:6 Person Bollard (8.5m).

  • 23

    9000

    1500

    1400

    1650

    1650

    1650

    1050

    x

    1050

    10000

    Section 2: The Laboratory

    8 Person Bollard Option A(Figure 2/14)Four 600 x 600mm bollards provideservices for up to eight pupils each.The key features of the layouts shownhere are:

    the reduced number of bollardscompared to the 6 person bollardlayout above results in a simple layoutwith generous free floor area;

    in this table arrangement pupils havegood access to services as well as beingable to face the teaching wall forwhole class activities;

    a free wall is possible;

    an 1800mm table along side thewheelchair users table is long enoughfor three pupils.

    The layout works more satisfactorily inthe 8.5m deep room as there is moregathering space around the main teachingwall. The 9m deep space does not have asmuch circulation around the entrancealthough it does place the benching onthe window wall which is easier andcheaper to service.

    Individual work area p/p 0.42m2

    Side benching area p/p 0.14m2

    Storage 6.1m3

    Service Outlets p/p 1No of pupils per sink 7.5% of wheelchair access 93%Accessibility score 27 / 32% of pupils facing forwards 73%

    Figure 2/14a:8 Person Bollard (8.5m).

    Individual work area p/p 0.42m2

    Side benching area p/p 0.2m2

    Storage 4.5m3

    Service Outlets p/p 1No of pupils per sink 7.5% of wheelchair access 100%Accessibility score 24 / 32% of pupils facing forwards 87%

    90m2

    90m2

    Figure 2/14b:8 Person Bollard (9m).

    1650

    1060010600

    8500

    A

    1400

    1050

    1050

    1400

    1500

    x

  • 24

    10600

    8500

    1650

    1050

    1400

    1650

    A

    x

    8 Person Bollard Option B(Figure 2/15)These plans show the same rooms withthe tables rearranged into a horseshoe forclass discussions. The 10.6m width workswell for a plan layout of this shape. The9m deep room works less well and it istherefore necessary for two pupils to sit atthe end of a run of tables.

    Section 2: The Laboratory

    Figure 2/15b:8 person Bollard HorseshoeArrangement (9m).

    Figure 2/15a:8 person Bollard HorseshoeArrangement (8.5m).

    90m2

    90m2

    A

    10000

    9000

    1500

    1050

    x

  • 25

    1050

    10600

    85001400

    1650

    1400

    1250

    1200

    A

    x

    1200 x 600 Bollard(Figure 2/16)This plan shows four 1200 x 600mmbollards serviced from below, providinggas, water and electrical outlets for up toeight pupils. Although the bollards arelarger than those in Figures 2/13 and2/14, the servicing provision is assumedto be the same (although the sink islarger). The key features of the layoutsshown here are:

    only one wall of fixed furniture isnecessary and a free storage wall ispossible;

    the increased size of the bollard makesdemands on circulation space.

    Both depths of space work effectively. Inthe squarer room it is necessary toorientate the bollards in a way whichmeans that some pupils have their backsto the teacher. The 8.5m deep roomworks slightly better, allowing all pupilsto face the front and allowing more spacearound the teachers unit for gathering.

    Individual work area p/p 0.46m2

    Side benching area p/p 0.21m2

    Storage 4.8m3

    Service Outlets p/p 1No of pupils per sink 7.5% of wheelchair access 90%Accessibility score 25 / 32% of pupils facing forwards 87%

    Individual work area p/p 0.46m2

    Side benching area p/p 0.2m2

    Storage 4.8m3

    Service Outlets p/p 1No of pupils per sink 7.5% of wheelchair access 92%Accessibility score 26 / 32% of pupils facing forwards 73%

    Figure 2/16b:1200 x 600 Bollard (9m).

    Section 2: The Laboratory

    90m2

    90m2

    Figure 2/16a:1200 x 600 Bollard (8.5m).

    10501400

    1350

    10000

    9000

    1650

    1150

    A

    1650

    x

  • 26

    1650

    1750

    1650

    1650

    10501350

    10000

    9000

    A

    x

    Bollard and Perimeter Servicing(Figure 2/17)Four 1200 x 600mm bollards provide afull range of services via perimeterducting. A 1200 x 1200mm table whichis clamped or fixed to the ducting carriesservices from the perimeter to thebollard. The tables on the other side ofthe bollard are loose. The key features ofthe layouts shown here are:

    some tables are moveable to allowsome variety of layout;

    as the tables can be fed from anywherealong the perimeter duct there arefewer planning limitations thanunderfloor serviced bollards;

    the increased size of the bollard makesdemands on circulation space;

    peninsula layouts create corridorswhich are sometimes too tight for thewheelchair user to access;

    it is necessary with both layouts to putthe sink integrated into fixed benchingon an internal wall which can be moreexpensive to fit as drainage needs torun under the floor;

    as the system relies on perimeterservices it is not possible to have eithera free wall or a storage wall. (SeePlanning Strategy above);

    pupils who sit on the tables which aredirectly against the wall seem remotefrom the teacher with viewing anglesdifficult. However there is goodgathering space available around theteachers serviced unit.

    Both rooms work equally well, althoughthe 8.5m deep room has less wasted spacein the centre.

    Section 2: The Laboratory

    A

    1650

    1850

    1850

    1650

    1450

    10600

    8500

    x

    Individual work area p/p 0.48m2

    Side benching area p/p 0.13m2

    Storage 4.6m3

    Service Outlets p/p 1No of pupils per sink 7.5% of wheelchair access 100%Accessibility score 26 / 28% of pupils facing forwards 50%

    Figure 2/17a:Bollard and Perimeter Servicing (8.5m).

    Individual work area p/p 0.48m2

    Side benching area p/p 0.15m2

    Storage 4.5m3

    Service Outlets p/p 1No of pupils per sink 7.5% of wheelchair access 100%Accessibility score 23 / 28% of pupils facing forwards 50%

    90m2

    90m2

    Figure 2/17b:Bollard and Perimeter Servicing (9m).

  • 27

    Serviced podsService pods are boxes containing outletsfor electricity and gas which are clampedto table tops. They are fed fromunderfloor or overhead servicing. Flexiblecables allow serviced tables to be movedwithin the limits of the connectionlength, giving a variety of layouts. Inunderfloor connections, where positionsare set, it is worth looking at alternativelayouts to determine the best position forthe flexible connection.

    Pods can be fixed to perimeter, peninsulaor island table layouts, althoughthey are most effective in islandarrangements. When the laboratory isserved by an overhead boom, cables maybe plugged in at various points along itslength. Separate pods with taps canprovide water to sinks or drainagetroughs which are usually connected tothe perimeter, although in practice theseare rarely used. A variation of this systemis where sink tables are positionedalongside pods and tables in the centre ofthe room. Water and pumped drainageare connected to overhead service boomswhich can present maintenance and noiseproblems (see Overhead ServicingSystems).

    Section 2: The Laboratory

    Figure 2/18Typical Services Pod (servicedfrom above)

  • 28

    A1050

    1350

    10000

    1650

    1650

    1200

    1350 1350

    13501650

    x

    9000

    Pod and Perimeter Sinks(Figure 2/19)This arrangement works with eitheroverhead or underfloor services. In thisversion, pods only provide gas andelectricity (for up to 8 pupils); the sinksare placed at the perimeter. The keyfeatures of the layouts shown here are:

    although two walls are used forperimeter benching one wall remainsfree for an additional whiteboardposition;

    there are good distances betweentables because the pod does not takeup any floor space;

    three out of four tables are free ofservices and can be moved anywhere;

    a bigger table in modular 600mmincrements for wheelchair users maybe easily incorporated into the system;

    continuous perimeter servicingenables sinks to be positionedanywhere along the wall;

    placing sinks at the perimeter increasesthe total length of side benchingrequired;

    positioning sinks away from otherservices can be a disadvantage ifimmediate connection to a sink isneeded for an experiment. Perimetersinks can present problems becausepupils will have their backs to theteacher whilst accessing water andbecause spillages may occur whenpupils are taking water to their tablegroupings;

    the tables to which pods areconnected have a slightly reducedworking area but this can becompensated for by perimeter tables;

    not all pupils face the teacher, butthere is sufficient space to gatheraround for demonstrations etc.

    The 8.5m deep space offers mostcirculation, although the 9m deep space hasmore gathering area around the secondwhiteboard. The two runs of side benchingare better positioned in the squarer shapedspace with each grouping having readyaccess to a sink position, in the 8.5m deepshape one group is particularly remote fromtheir sink.

    Section 2: The Laboratory

    Individual work area p/p 0.39m2

    Side benching area p/p 0.2m2

    Storage 6.6m3

    Service Outlets p/p 1N of pupils per sink 7.5% of wheelchair access 92%Accessibility score 25/32% of pupils facing forwards 60%

    Figure 2/19b:Pod and Perimeter Sinks (9m).

    90m2

    90m2

    Figure 2/19a:Pod and Perimeter Sinks (8.5m).

    1050

    1350

    10600

    8500

    1650

    1650

    A

    1650

    1350

    1650

    1350

    x

    Individual work areanp/p 0.39m2

    Side benching area p/p 0.21m2

    Storage 6.3m3

    Service Outlets p/p 1N of pupils per sink 7.5% of wheelchair access 100%Accessibility score 27 / 32% of pupils facing forwards 57%

  • 29

    Serviced FurnitureIn this type of system, services run withinthe furniture making them easy to accessfor repair and maintenance. Furniture canbe linked together allowing services tosupply a group of work places.

    Installations are connected to the mainservices at one or more points, usually atthe perimeter of the room. Interruptionsin the wall may restrict the length ofservicing and therefore several points maybe necessary. Some systems may requiretables to be fixed to the floor for stabilitythus limiting adaptability, although somecan be connected to each other.

    Two kinds of serviced furniture systemare shown below. One based on theoctagonal table unit and one based on aseries of components that can becombined in a variety of ways.

    Serviced Octagon (Figure 2/20)The two systems shown on pages 30and 31 are based on fixed octagonalunits, 1800mm in width, linked to a1000 x 600mm sink unit.

    Octagons can be serviced fromunderfloor or perimeter servicing, bothoptions are shown here. Keycharacteristics common to this system are:

    a sink unit can be linked to an octagonat 90o or 45o;

    rather like serviced bollards, octagonsare fixed to the floor which may limitflexibility;

    some octagons have a raised centralturret which whilst it provides anadditional work surface for books, tasklights or computer screens, cansometimes affect visual supervision ofpupils sitting at the units and reduceinteraction necessary for groupactivities. It also encourages thestorage of objects which may fall offonto the work surface below;

    Section 2: The Laboratory

    Figure 2/20Typical Serviced FurnitureSystem

    the laboratory has a tidy appearancebecause the units are fixed;

    planning with such large units isrestrictive and often results inminimum circulation distances whichlimits access by the wheelchair user;

    a separate adjustable table for awheelchair user is necessary as it isvery difficult to create a separatesection of an octagon to rise and fall;

    this additional table results in theposition next to the wheelchair usernot being useable (due to the 45o

    angle of the unit, see plans below);

    the teachers access to certain unitsmay be restricted by the linking sinkunits, particularly in the perimeterserviced option. This is a particularissue in an emergency.

  • 30

    Perimeter Serviced OctagonThe octagonal units are linked toperimeter services by the sink unit. Eachoctagon is designed for up to eightpupils, although this may reduce to sixadjacent to link units. The key features ofthe layouts shown here are:

    despite using the perimeter for themain run of services this system onlyuses two walls, allowing a free wallfor a second whiteboard position;

    links at both 90o and 45o increaseplanning options but can createtriangles of space. However, thesecan be used very effectively asgathering areas, for example aroundthe second whiteboard position;

    the layouts shown seat a total of 26pupils, for additional pupils a length ofserviced perimeter benching isrequired which makes viewing anglesdifficult.

    The 8.5m deep space has a betterteaching focus and a more generous areafor the fume cupboard and classgatherings. The squarer shaped room hasbetter circulation routes and fewerunusable triangles of floor space.Neither layout allows the wheelchair userto be positioned directly in front of thewhiteboard which may be problematic forsome pupils.

    Section 2: The Laboratory

    1050

    1900

    1200

    10000

    9000

    1350

    1550

    A

    1400

    x

    1050

    1350

    1350

    1500

    10600

    8500

    1200

    x

    A

    Individual work area p/p 0.51m2

    Side benching area p/p 0.31m2

    Storage 3.95m3

    Service Outlets p/p 1.1N of pupils per sink 5% of wheelchair access 52%Accessibility score 22 / 32% of pupils facing forwards 57%

    Individual work area p/p 0.55m2

    Side benching area p/p 0.28m2

    Storage 5.15m3

    Service Outlets p/p 1.2No of pupils per sink 6% of wheelchair access 73%Accessibility score 20 / 32% of pupils facing forwards 57%

    Figure 2/21b:Perimeter Serviced Octagon (9m).

    90m2

    90m2

    Figure 2/21a:Perimeter Serviced Octagon (8.5m).

  • 31

    Island Octagon (Figure 2/22)Here octagonal units are servicedfrom below and are isolated fromthe perimeter of the room. Two pairs ofoctagons with a shared double sink sitcentrally in the laboratory. The keyfeatures of the layouts shown here are:

    the sinks are located directly adjacentto the each group;

    fewer links mean the units are moreaccessible to the teacher;

    fewer links mean more pupils can sitaround the units;

    island units free up the walls forsidebenching etc;

    the layouts shown seat a total of 27pupils, for additional pupils a length ofserviced perimeter benching isrequired which makes viewing anglesdifficult;

    it is not possible for the teachers unitto follow the servicing run for theoctagons and would therefore requireanother run of servicing through thefloor.

    The position of the wheelchair user inboth spaces determines the layout.Minimum dimensions for circulation haveto be used, which may be a problem forwheelchair access. The 8.5m deep spaceoffers more space between the octagonruns whereas the 9m deep space givesmore space around the side benching.The 8.5m deep space offers more wallstorage. Neither layout allows thewheelchair user to be positioned directlyin front of the whiteboard which may beproblematic for some pupils.

    Section 2: The Laboratory

    A

    1400

    1050

    10000

    9000

    1400

    1500

    1150

    x

    Individual work area p/p 0.43m2

    Side benching area p/p 0.17m2

    Storage 4.3m3

    Service Outlets p/p 1.2N of pupils per sink 6% of wheelchair access 90%Accessibility score 25 / 32% of pupils facing forwards 53%

    Figure 2/22a:Island Octagon (8.5m).

    Individual work area p/p 0.43m2

    Side benching area p/p 0.2m2

    Storage 3.2m3

    Service Outlets p/p 1.2No of pupils per sink 6% of wheelchair access 77%Accessibility score 26 / 32% of pupils facing forwards 53%

    1050

    A

    1500

    1650

    1400

    10600

    8500

    A

    1200

    x

    x

    Figure 2/22b:Island Octagon (9m).

    90m2

    90m2

  • 32

    Section 2: The Laboratory

    Perimeter Serviced Tables(Figure 2/23)This serviced furniture system uses variouscomponents: a 1500 x 750mmtable, a 750 x 750mm sink table and aloose un-serviced semi-circular table. Therectilinear tables carry services in traysclipped to their under-frames. Pyramid-shaped service pods at the corners of thetables provide gas and electrical outlets.The key features of these layouts are: the space can be re-arranged relatively

    easily, although a registered gas installerwould have to be employed;

    loose tables can create note-taking areasin the centre of the space, particularlyuseful in square shaped rooms where, inother perimeter based layouts, thecentral area is often under-utilised;

    semi-circular tables ease the circulationroutes;

    the tables to which pods are connectedhave a slightly reduced working area butthe tables are slightly bigger than mostother systems;

    an adjustable table can be easilyincorporated for a wheelchair user;

    planning in 750mm modules cansometimes be restrictive although non-standard tables can be ordered tomaximise space;

    pockets of space are created in Ushaped layouts, although these may beuseful for group gatherings;

    as all walls are utilised for servicedfurniture there is no wall available for asecond whiteboard, trolley parks orseparate runs of side benching;

    perimeter sinks can present supervisionproblems as pupils will have their backsto the teacher when getting water andspillages may occur when pupils aretaking water to their table groupings;

    one sink is used primarily as a wash-upsink and is therefore not counted as partof the overall sink provision.

    The two layouts show similar results. The8.5m deep is slightly more effective as lessspace in the central area is wasted, it offersmore area around the demonstration tableand wheelchair access is better as there areno narrow work corridors. However, inthe 9m deep arrangement more pupils cansee the teacher because more tables projectfrom the wall opposite the teaching wall.

    10000

    1500

    90001350

    A

    x

    1050

    1600

    1800

    2000 2100

    10600

    8500

    1400

    A

    x

    2115

    1050

    Figure 2/23a:Perimeter Serviced Tables (8.5m).

    Individual work area p/p 1.03m2

    Side benching area p/p N/AStorage 8.46m3

    Service Outlets p/p 2.5N of pupils per sink 6% of wheelchair access 91%Accessibility score 22 / 28% of pupils facing forwards 60%

    Figure 2/23b:Perimeter Serviced Tables (9m).

    90m2

    90m2

    Individual work area p/p 1.01m2

    Side benching area p/p N/AStorage 8.15m3

    Service Outlets p/p 2.1N of pupils per sink 6% of wheelchair access 100%Accessibility score 20 / 28% of pupils facing forwards 47%

  • 33

    Section 3: Support Spaces

    This section looks at spaces which support the maintimetabled teaching spaces. The number and type ofsupport facilities varies greatly between schools; theexamples shown here are not the only solutions.

    The Preparation RoomProviding a central preparation room thatserves a group of laboratories makesefficient use of both floor area and stafftime. This section outlines the basicrequirement for one central preparationroom (or two in a two storey department).The furniture layouts of two typicalpreparation rooms are illustrated in detail.

    The preparation room in a middle schoolwill be simpler than the room(s)described in this section. It will probablyserve only one or two laboratories, but itmay also be used to prepare trolleys ofequipment for teaching pupils in yearsfive and six in their classroom bases.

    Zones of ActivityA central preparation room can act as themain store room for a suite oflaboratories as well as a workroom for thetechnicians. Five main zones of activitycan be identified:

    main storage;

    preparation;

    dispensing and cleaning;

    trolley park;

    the clean working area and chemicalstorage.

    These five zones and the relationshipbetween them are illustrated in Figure 3/1.This diagram forms the basis of the

    preparation room layouts in this section.Each zone is described in detail below.

    The Main Storage AreaItems of equipment used frequently by allpupils (such as tripods, Bunsen burnersand goggles) are usually kept in thelaboratory. All other equipment is bestkept in a central preparation room whereit can be checked regularly by a technician.The main storage area is best concentratedin one place, preferably located alongsidethe preparation and cleaning area.

    Storage is often in the form of free-standing timber or metal racks providingflexible storage systems which can bere-arranged to suit the available space.

    An alternative method of bulk storage isthe rolling unit system sometimes seen inlibrary stockrooms. This system is veryeconomical in its use of space becausecirculation is reduced, often providingapproximately 30% more volume than aconventional system. However, it isexpensive. The system is probably mostappropriate for a large school with at leastseven laboratories where it can be used forlonger term storage while more frequentlyused materials can be kept on shelving orracking. Further details of storage systemscan be found in Section 4.

    The Preparation, Dispensing andCleaning areaThis is the main working area fortechnicians. It is where glassware iswashed, equipment is sorted after beingreturned on trolleys from lessons, practicalexperiments are prepared and small itemsof equipment are repaired. There needsto be enough free bench space fortechnicians to carry out these activities.This is in addition to any space that istaken up with small bench mountedapparatus such as an autoclave ordistillation unit. Gas taps and electricaloutlets should be provided and at leastone sink in addition to the wash-up sink(which should have double bowl anddrainer). Floor mounted equipment mayinclude a fridge-freezer and dishwasher.

    Main storage

    Entrance2

    Cleanworking area

    Cleaning/dispensing/preparationChemicalstorage

    Trolley park loading andunloading

    Entrance1

    Figure 3/1Zoning of Activities in thePreparation Room

  • 34

    In order to dispense chemicals it may beconvenient to position a serviced run ofbenching and the fume cupboard as nearas possible to the chemical store. A fixedfume cupboard may be preferable to amobile one because of the frequency ofuse by technicians. In a middle school,however, a mobile fume cupboard may beadvantageous as it can be used forteaching as well as preparation. A ductedrather that re-circulatory type may bemore appropriate for a middle school (seeFume Cupboards, Section 4). Fumecupboards should always be positionedaway from circulation routes.1

    The Trolley ParkTo facilitate loading and unloading thetrolley park should ideally be locatedbetween the main storage zone and thepreparation/cleaning area. The spaceneeds to be wide enough to park themaximum number of trolleys (e.g. up totwo per laboratory) and to allowcirculation alongside. Additional parkingspace for trolleys may be needed at theentrance to the preparation room oradjacent to a hoist. Gas cylinders willneed to be clamped safely to a wall orbench within the preparation room.

    The Clean Work AreaA discrete technicians work area allowsadministrative tasks to be completed andmay be positioned next to the main doorsof the preparation room forming areception area. Furniture and equipmentin this area may include a computer withinternet connection, filing cabinets,lockers for technicians belongings, a localtask light and a telephone. TVprogrammes may be recorded in this area.

    The Chemical StoreEmployers should follow recommendedprocedures based on risk assessmentswhen using and storing chemicals.Reference should be made to COSHH(Control of Substances Hazardous toHealth) regulations,2 the Management ofHealth and Safety at Work regulations3

    and the DSEAR (Dangerous Substancesand Explosive Atmospheres regulations).4

    If bulk chemicals are kept by the schoolthese should be kept in a separate store inthe school grounds. In practice however,such stores are often underused and canbe subject to vandalism. It is better tostore smaller quantities in a separatelocked chemical store, accessible only totechnicians and teachers, ideally openingonto the preparation room. The totalvolume of highly flammable liquidsshould not exceed 50 litres in any onework room.5

    The chemical store must be protectedfrom frost and well ventilated to theoutside air either by natural means or byappropriate mechanical extraction; full airconditioning is not necessary. The doorshould open outwards and contain avision panel for means of escape reasonsand it should be openable from the insidewithout a key in case of emergency. Thefloor should slope to a collection areaaway from the door. Alternatively, aslightly raised threshold will preventchemical spills flowing underneath thedoor. The flooring material should beimpervious to chemicals e.g. quarry tiles.

    There are recommended ways ofarranging chemicals on shelves in achemical store, according to type.6

    It is an advantage if all shelves are shallowto avoid hidden bottles and shelvingabove head height is best avoided.Shelves should be made of a materialwhich does not corrode (such as wood) incase of leaks and corrosive liquids shouldbe kept on the lowest shelves. Thereshould be a fire resistant cupboard forhighly flammable liquids (for safetyreasons) and ideally a locked cupboard forthe more hazardous chemicals (forsecurity reasons).

    Where it is not possible to have achemical store there should at least be asuitable cupboard in the preparationroom itself for highly flammable liquids, alocked cupboard for toxic chemicals andone for corrosives. It is good practice tohave locked cupboards for otherhazardous chemicals too and also forother hazardous items (e.g. scalpels).

    Section 3: Support Spaces

    Notes1 BB88 Fume Cupboards inSchools 1998, published byThe Stationery Office.

    2 A Step by Step Guide toCOSHH Assessments (revisededition), HSG 97, publishedby HSE books, 1999 andControl of SubstancesHazardous to HealthRegulations 2002,published by HSE books.

    3 Management of Health andSafety at Work regulations1999, published by theStationery Office.

    4 Dangerous Substances andExplosive Atmospheresregulations 2002, publishedby the Stationery Office.

    5 Storage of dangerousSubstances one of theapproved Codes of Practiceand Guidance accompanyingthe DSEAR regulations, 2002,published by HSE books(ref L135).

    6 See CLEAPSS LaboratoryHandbook, section 7.3,CLEAPSS 2004.

  • 35

    Radioactive materialsRadioactive materials must be storedseparately from highly flammable materialsin a locked cupboard or store. Suchmaterials should be stored and used inaccordance with AM 1/92 7 which statesthat in order to limit exposure time thesematerials should be stored in an area notused regularly by the same people.

    Layout ExamplesThese two sample layouts show how theprinciples outlined above can be appliedto preparation facilities serving a group ofseven laboratories. Both examplesprovide a total of 0.5m2 of floor area foreach science workplace, and assume thatonly a small amount of local storage isprovided in the laboratories.

    Example A:A Central Preparation Room.Figure 3/2 shows a central preparationroom which is organised on the zoningprinciples described earlier. Below aresome particular points to note about theplan.

    Access is from each end of the room,opening directly onto the centraltrolley park.

    A rolling storage system is shown,divided into two halves by a fixed unitallowing two technicians to haveaccess to different units at the sametime.

    The main work area is divided into 3zones: cleaning, general preparationand chemical preparation. The latterzone includes a fume cupboardadjacent to the chemical store.

    The cleaning area is separated fromthe preparation area and positionednext to one of the entrances.

    This room provides 8m3 of storage foreach laboratory8 , i.e. 56m3 in total.

    Section 3: Support Spaces

    Figure 3/2Example A: Central PreparationRoom to Serve 7 Laboratories

    Area Breakdown:

    Fixed Storage = 30.5m2 (28%) Mobile Storage = 9m2 (8%)

    Work Area = 27.5m2 (25%) Circulation = 43m2 (39%)

    Notes7 AM 1/92: The Use ofIonising Radiations inEducation Establishments:DFE, 1992.

    8 The volume calculatedassumes a maximum storageheight of 2 metres.

    dw

    workarea

    rolling storage

    cleaningpreparation

    desk

    highlyflammablechemicals

    morehazardous chemicals

    PREP ROOM110m2

    ventilation to roof

    preparation

    900

    To Labs

    To Labs

    fr

    x

    0 1 2 3 4 5

    oven fz

    dr

    chemicalstore

    f/c

    f/c

    f/c

    f/c

    f/c

    f/c

    f/c

  • 36

    Example B:Preparation on Two Floors.Figure 3/3 illustrates the preparationfacilities for a two floor sciencedepartment with a preparation room oneach floor. There are particular points tonote about these two plans.

    The size of each preparation roomrelates to the number of laboratories itserves. The larger preparation roomalso contains the chemical store.

    The facilities are generally dividedaccording to the number oflaboratories served on that floor.There are some duplications includinga fridge, a wash-up sink, a science sink,a dishwasher, a distillation unit andfire fighting equipment.

    Less frequently used items, such as thefume cupboard, are not duplicated.

    The hoist enables equipment to betransported conveniently between thetwo floors. The hoist would need tobe designed to prevent the spread offire up the shaft. Alternatively anearby passenger lift could be used.

    As these preparation rooms are on anexternal wall the technicians have anoutside view but the different activityzones cannot be as efficientlyorganised as in the previous example.

    Simple racking units are shown forstorage since the size of eachpreparation room does not warrant arolling storage system. As a result, thetotal volume of storage is 7m3 perlaboratory (49m3 in total), a little lessthan that provided in Example A.

    Section 3: Support Spaces

    Figure 3/3Example B: Preparation onTwo Floors in 7 LaboratorySuite

    Area Breakdown:

    Dead Storage = 9m2 (20%), Mobile Storage = 4m2 (9%),

    Work Area = 13.5m2 (30%) Circulation = 18.5m2 (41%)

    Area Breakdown:

    Dead Storage = 15m2 (21%), Mobile Storage = 5m2 (8%),

    Work Area = 18m2 (26%) Circulation = 32m2 (45%)

    To Labs

    hoist

    cleaning

    f/c

    workarea

    preparation

    more hazardouschemicals PREP ROOM 70m

    2

    chemicalstore

    x

    f/cf/c

    storage racks

    dw

    ventilation to outside

    0 1 2 3 4 5

    oven

    dr

    fr/fz

    f/c

    f/c

    f/c

    f/c

    highly flammablechemicals

    fr/fz

    cleaning preparation

    hoist

    STAFFBASE

    Fire Exit

    workarea

    PREP AREA 45m2

    To Labs

    x

    storageracks

    0 1 2 3 4 5

    dwdr

    f/c

    f/c

    First Floor

    Ground Floor

  • 37

    The Staff BaseThe requirements for local staffaccommodation will vary from school toschool. Figure 3/4 shows a possiblearrangement for a staff base serving sevenlaboratories. There is sufficient space forup to seven members of staff to preparework, hold meetings, or makerefreshments. Facilities shown hereinclude a computer, photocopier,telephone and sink. An adjacent lockablestore may hold pupils work retained forassessment purposes, record cards or anyother items needing secure storage.

    The GreenhouseIf a greenhouse is to be provided it canform an interesting and attractiveextension to a science department. Asmall conservatory or Wardian window, asecondary glazing unit which provides aself sustaining environment, may beconsidered as an alternative.

    LocationA greenhouse is best located fairly closeto the science suite to encourage its useand allow easy maintenance andsupervision. The site will need to receiveplenty of sunlight and be protected fromthe wind.9 If it is over-looked by otherbuildings the possibility of vandalism willbe minimised.

    Form and MaterialThe size of the greenhouse depends verymuch on the use that will be made of it.The structure can be of timber oraluminium, the latter requiring lessmaintenance. The glazing can be of glass,polycarbonate or acrylic. Polycarbonate ismore expensive than acrylic although it ismore hard-wearing, less brittle and doesnot discolour. Glass, although more easilybroken, is better at transmitting light anddoes not deteriorate in the same way asacrylic.

    Environment and ServicesThe greenhouse will need to be ventilatedand various automatic window openingdevices are available. It may be heatedalthough this will add to the cost. Freestanding heaters should never be usedbecause of the danger of fire.

    An automatic watering device is notessential but there should be access towater within the greenhouse. Anyelectrical socket outlets must bewaterproof.

    Note9 BB71 The OutdoorClassroom Educational Use,Landscape design andmanagements of schoolgrounds 1999, published byThe Stationery Office.

    Section 3: Support Spaces

    Figure 3/4Staff Base

    0 1 2 3 4 5

    STAFF BASE 21m2

    store3.5m2

    0.5 1.5 2.5 3.5 4.5

    fr

    f/c

  • 38

    Any furniture that will be used in a schoollaboratory should comply with all therelevant and current British Standards.BS 3202 is a wide ranging standard whichdeals mainly with the construction ofscience research laboratory furniture, butit is a useful reference. The standard is infour parts, however Part Three has beenreplaced by BS EN140561 which coversthe safe distances between furniture. Thisinformation forms the basis of thedimensions given in Section 2.

    A clear specification, which includesappropriate standards, is an essential part

    Section 4: Furniture, Equipment and Finishes

    of the tendering process for laboratoryfurniture. Unless schools are clear aboutexactly what they want the tender exercisewill be unreliable and quality may not beassured. The DfESs Furniture andEquipment in Schools: A PurchasingGuide2 provides a useful guide to thetender process as well information onvarious types of furniture and guidanceon how to ensure safety and quality. Theguide, which also gives a samplespecification for a tender exercise, can bedownloaded from http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/fande.

    Tables and Benching

    DimensionsIt is important to consider the smallerpupil when designing or specifyinglaboratory tables and benching because abench which is too high may prevent apupil from working safely with a Bunsenburner. 900mm is generally considered asuitable height for a laboratory worksurface for KS3 and 4 pupils. Stools mustcorrespond in height to the worktop. Ameasurement of 240-270mm from thetop of the stool to the underside of theworktop allows sufficient thigh clearancefor the pupil to sit comfortably at thework surface. In preparation areasbenches must be positioned at a heightsufficient to take standard appliances suchas dishwashers and fridges underneath. Acommon height is 920mm which suitsmost adults.

    A working depth of 600mm for benchingand tables is recommended. In anysituation service outlets should bepositioned no further than 600mm fromthe front of the bench. There should besufficient space underneath to allowstools to be safely tucked away duringexperiments. Desktop computers mayrequire a depth greater than 600mm,750mm deep is usually appropriate.Laptops (and some flat screen computers)require less table space than desktops,however to comply with the health andsafety guidance3 there should be areasonable distance between the laptopscreen and the user.

    This section provides general guidance on the furnitureand equipment shown on the layouts in Section 2. It isworth noting, however, that each of the servicingsystems outlined in that section has its own particularfurniture requirements whether loose or fixed. Thissection also includes information on suitable finishesfor science spaces.

    Figure 4/1Co-ordinating Furniture andServices

    Notes1 BS EN 14056. LaboratoryFurniture - Recommendationfor Design Installation.2 Furniture and Equipment inSchools: A Purchasing GuideDfEE 2000.3 Work with Display ScreenEquipment. L26 HSE Books.

  • 39

    A table of 1200 x 600mm generallyprovides the minimum recommendedworking area for KS3 and KS4 pupils,however some systems where serviceoutlets are part of the working surfacecan provide less overall area. Section 2looks at the working area for each systemas part of a comparative analysis exercise.

    Separate trunking containing gas,electrical and water services, may runaround the perimeter of the room sitedabove or below the side benching.Careful co-ordination will be neededwhere fitted workbenching and trunkingruns above a radiator or beneath awindow (see Figure 4/1).

    Furniture FramesVarious frames in both wood and metalare available for side benching, servicedunits and loose tables. Frame shapes varybut metal frames are generallycantilevered whilst wooden frames areusually the more traditional four-leggedshape. For systems where loose tablesmay be positioned around serviced unitsfour legged frames are more suitable asthey allow pupils to sit at the end of thetable.

    Cantilevered frames can be useful withwall benching as there are no legs at thefront to prevent pupils sitting anywherealong the bench. Figure 4/2 shows frameshapes used in various science systemsinstalled in schools today.

    The needs of pupils with disabilities mustbe taken into account. At least oneadjustable height table should beprovided in each area to allow disabledpupils to carry out a variety of activities.The table should be easily and discretelyadjusted and not rely on separatemechanisms which may become lost.The table top may need to be shaped tosupport some pupils during practicalexperiments. For some serviced systems itis necessary to offer distinctly differenttables for disabled pupils, whilst othersare more able to incorporate an

    adjustable table into the overall scheme(see Section 2). Specialist advice must besought on this issue.

    Work Surface MaterialsResistance to water penetration, chemicalattack, hea