Laboratory Renovation – 10 Signs You Are Ready For A Refurb

Before embarking on alaboratory renovation project, it’s essential to conduct a thorough assessment, engage with stakeholders, create a budget, and develop a detailed renovation plan. The person responsible for carrying out the renovations should carry them out with careful consideration. Firstly for safety, then compliance, and the specific needs of the research being conducted in the lab.

Here are 10 signs that a lab is ready for renovation:

Outdated Equipment

If your lab’s equipment and instruments are old, inefficient, or no longer meet your research needs, it may be time for an upgrade.

Safety Concerns

Safety should always be a top priority in a laboratory. If you have outdated safety systems, inadequate ventilation, or other safety concerns that are likely to affect employees, renovation is essential to bring your lab up to modern safety standards.

Inefficient Layout

An inefficient lab layout can hinder productivity and collaboration among researchers. If bottlenecks or wasted space is being caused by the current layout, it is time to consider renovating the laboratory.

Infrastructure Issues

Problems with plumbing, electrical systems, or HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) can disrupt lab operations. Renovations can address these infrastructure issues and improve overall functionality.

Space Constraints

If overcrowded or lacking sufficient storage space, your lab can lead to a cluttered and disorganised work environment. Renovations can help maximize available space and create efficient storage solutions.

Compliance with Regulations

Laboratory regulations and standards can change over time. If your lab no longer complies with current regulations, renovating to meet these standards is crucial to avoid compliance issues.

Energy Efficiency

Energy-efficient lab designs not only reduce operating costs but also contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly workspace. Carrying out laboratory renovations to your space can incorporate energy-efficient lighting, insulation, and equipment.

Deteriorating Infrastructure

Signs of wear and tear such as crumbling walls, leaking ceilings, or damaged floors indicate that the lab’s infrastructure needs attention. It’s crucial to address these issues before they become major problems.

Technology Integration

Modern research often requires advanced technology and connectivity. If your lab lacks the necessary infrastructure for data management, automation, or high-speed internet access, a laboratory renovation can help integrate these technologies.

Changing Research Needs

Research priorities and methods evolve over time. If your lab’s current setup doesn’t support your research goals, it’s a clear indication that a renovation is needed to align the space with your research needs.

So, if you feel your laboratory falls under one or more of the above, then get in touch with Kastnerlab to find out how we can help get your lab back on track today. Alternatively, if you have an office space within your laboratory that requires an upgrade, we also carry out office fit out as we are proud to be part of McFeggan Brown.

Why Is A Trespa Work Surface The Best For Your Laboratory?

We believe in giving our clients the best in the market, this includes a Trespa work surface!

Unlike other laboratory fit-out companies, we provide a complete lab design solution. So, whether you’re relocating laboratories or refurbishing your existing workspace, we know that to meet these objectives, it is vital to understand your laboratory needs. When designing our spaces, we factor in the best materials that we know will last for a long time.

Trespa is a popular choice for laboratory applications due to several key advantages it offers:

Chemical Resistance

Known for their excellent chemical resistance, they can withstand exposure to a wide range of chemicals without deteriorating or corroding for up to 24 hours, which is crucial in labs where various chemicals are used and spilt.


Trespa worktops have a non-porous surface that is easy to clean and maintain. This is essential in laboratories where cleanliness and hygiene are top priorities. These surfaces help prevent the growth of bacteria and contaminants on surfaces. With its non-porous elements, these surfaces make them suitable for contact with food.

Scratch, Wear & Impact Resistant

These surfaces have been thoroughly tested by diamond-tip point, abrasive paper and heavy forces, meaning they can withstand any experiment that may be carried out in the lab. This stability is critical in laboratory settings where precise measurements and equipment alignment are essential.


They come in a variety of colours, textures, and sizes, allowing for customization to match the specific aesthetic and functional requirements of the laboratory. This versatility makes it a suitable choice for a wide range of lab designs.


Sustainability is an important part of Trespa’s commitment. They use responsible sourcing of raw materials and have environmentally friendly production processes, which can be an important consideration for labs looking to reduce their environmental impact.


Designed to have a long lifespan, these surfaces reduce the need for frequent replacements and maintenance. This can lead to cost savings over time.


Trespa’s manufacturing processes ensure consistent quality and performance across their products, which is essential when maintaining uniformity and reliability in laboratory construction.


Trespa work surfaces typically offer warranties on their products, providing additional peace of mind for laboratory owners and operators.

The specific suitability of a Trespa work surface for a particular laboratory will depend on the lab’s unique requirements and budget constraints.

If you are looking for an experienced partner to help you with your next laboratory fit out, Kastnerlab is here to help you so why not get in contact with us today.

Leading a Laboratory Refurbishment

Leading a laboratory refurbishment in the UK involves overseeing the process of renovating or upgrading an existing laboratory facility to meet specific requirements, enhance functionality, improve safety, and comply with relevant regulations. This can be a complex project that requires careful planning, coordination, and collaboration with various stakeholders. Here are the critical steps involved in leading a laboratory refurbishment in the UK:

Project Initiation

Begin by clearly defining the goals and objectives of the laboratory refurbishment. Identify the specific needs, such as updating equipment, improving workflow, increasing capacity, or enhancing safety standards. Establish a project team consisting of key stakeholders, including scientists, facility managers, architects, contractors, and health and safety representatives.

Budgeting and Funding

Determine the budget for the refurbishment project, considering factors such as equipment costs, construction materials, labour, and any additional expenses like permits or compliance requirements. Explore potential funding sources, which may include grants, institutional budgets, or external sources.

Planning and Design

Work with architects, engineers, and laboratory design specialists like ourselves to develop a detailed refurbishment plan. Consider factors such as layout, workflow optimization, ventilation systems, utility requirements, safety protocols, and compliance with relevant regulations, including Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidelines and British Standards (BS).

Regulatory Compliance

Ensure that the laboratory refurbishment project adheres to all necessary regulations and standards. This includes complying with building codes, fire safety regulations, electrical and plumbing requirements, and any specific industry or scientific guidelines. Engage with relevant authorities and obtain necessary permits and approvals.

Procurement and Equipment Selection

Identify the required laboratory equipment and furniture, considering factors like functionality, durability, safety features, and compatibility with existing systems. Engage suppliers, obtain quotes, and select vendors based on quality, cost-effectiveness, and reliability. Coordinate equipment delivery and installation schedules.

Construction and Installation

Collaborate with contractors and construction teams like ourselves to execute the refurbishment plan. Ensure proper coordination between various trades, such as electrical, plumbing, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), and general construction. Monitor progress, conduct regular inspections, and address any issues or modifications that arise during the construction phase.

Commissioning and Testing

Once the physical construction is complete, thoroughly test all systems and equipment to ensure functionality, safety, and compliance. This includes checking ventilation systems, fume hoods, electrical connections, plumbing fixtures, emergency safety measures, and any other critical components. Verify that all equipment is calibrated, properly installed, and operational.

Training and Documentation

Develop comprehensive user manuals and safety protocols for the refurbished laboratory. Provide training to laboratory staff on the proper use of new equipment, safety procedures, and any specific operational requirements. Document all aspects of the refurbishment project, including design plans, equipment specifications, compliance records, and maintenance schedules.

Post-refurbishment Evaluation

Monitor and evaluate the performance of the refurbished laboratory, taking feedback from users into account. Address any concerns or issues that arise during the initial period of operation. Regularly review and update safety protocols, maintenance schedules, and compliance measures to ensure ongoing adherence to regulations and best practices.

Leading a laboratory refurbishment in the UK requires effective project management, strong communication skills, attention to detail, and a comprehensive understanding of laboratory design, regulations, and safety standards. It is essential to engage with experienced professionals and consult relevant guidelines and regulations throughout the process to ensure a successful outcome.

Looks overwhelming? Get in touch with Kastner Lab today with your requirements at [email protected]

Lab Design Checklist For Fitting Out Your New Laboratory


Lab Design Checklist For Fitting Out Your New Laboratory

The demand for life science and tech buildings is steadily growing. It is set to continue as advancements in medicine and research investments surge. The need is for more support spaces and better-designed laboratories. 

However, in many buildings, there is so much to consider when relocating or refurbishing a lab with base building elements, such as central systems, vacuum lines, and essential M&E services. 

So, how do you create a laboratory that meets your design requirements? We have you covered with our lab design checklist!


Entry Level Laboratory Fit-Out

This fit-out specification might include:  

  • Lighting – standard spec
  • Plumbing – for any lab sinks
  • Drainage
  • Standard spec flooring
  • Decorations
  • Power & Data points
  • Basic Lab Furniture


Medium Level Laboratory Fit-Out

This fit-out specification might include:  

  • Air conditioning
  • Specialist Lighting 
  • Plumbing – including provision for laboratory gases such as acetylene, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, or CO2
  • Drainage
  • Chemically resistant, easy clean flooring with coving to perimeter.
  • Power & Data points
  • Full design for Lab Furniture – worktop supported on metal framework, with roll under storage to meet the requirements for GLP, and to allow flexibility
  • Chemical extraction arms
  • Fume cupboards and associated extraction, together with a provision for make-up air


Top Level Laboratory Fit-Out

This fit-out specification might include:  

  • Full HVAC design – holistic approach to laboratory ventilation and temperature control
  • Specialist lighting 
  • Plumbing – including provision for laboratory gases such as acetylene, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, or CO2
  • Drainage
  • Chemically resistant, easy clean flooring with coving to the perimeter.
  • Power & Data points
  • Full design for Lab Furniture – worktop supported on metal framework, with roll under storage to meet the requirements for GLP, and to allow flexibility
  • Chemical extraction arms
  • Fume cupboards and associated extraction, together with a provision for make-up air

Once you have an idea of the specification you need, you’ll find the building that is suited to you (if you don’t have a building already!). Before moving too fast, ensure that your lease allows you to make any necessary adjustments. You don’t want any problems on your hands! 

Rest assured, here at Kastner Lab, we know what is involved in addition to this lab design checklist, so drop us your enquiry and we will get your lab sorted.

Renovation begins on “Innovation Gateway” cancer building

Renovation work starts today on the Innovation Gateway at the London Cancer Hub, an incubator space for life science companies to be created through the refurbishment of an existing building on land owned by the London Borough of Sutton. The Innovation Gateway is adjacent to the newly built Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery at the Institute of Cancer Research, London, as well as next to The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.

The renovation project is part of a wider development which aims to see the London Cancer Hub site – already home to one of the world’s leading centres for cancer research and treatment – become the world’s leading life-science campus focused on overcoming cancer.

The Innovation Gateway will offer high-quality laboratory and collaboration space for a range of innovative companies working in areas of the life sciences related to cancer. There will be a particular emphasis on housing start-ups, spin-outs and small teams from the biotech, medtech, data science and pharmaceutical industries, who will have the opportunity to work with scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research.

Kastner Lab, (the laboratory fit out division of McFeggan Brown – a national interior fit-out company, based in Bristol) have been appointed to undertake the complete refurbishment of the two-storey building, originally an NHS training centre. The building will be refitted to provide laboratories, offices and other shared facilities for the tenants.

Metallurgical Lab Design & Equipment

Considerations when thinking about a metallurgical lab design

Kastnerlab design specialists

Metallurgical laboratory products & equipment

Although relatively unfamiliar to the general public, metallurgy is a very important branch of science. The multidisciplinary science involves the preparation, testing and analysis of the physical and chemical properties of metallic elements and their alloys and is incredibly important in ensuring safety and quality of the manufacture of everyday objects.

When designing a metallurgical laboratory, there are a number of important things to consider; the placement of equipment, storage of samples and how to maximise workflow efficiency. In this article we’ll look at some of the key aspects in designing a metallurgical lab.


metallurgical lab technician using equipment from Kastnerlab


Find out a bit more about Kastner lab design services

Industrial engineers

Metallurgical laboratories have to accommodate for a team of skilled industrial engineers, technicians and scientists who support clients from the aerospace, automotive, insurance, medical, and construction industries.

Metallurgical labs contain high tech equipment to perform important tests. Some of these tests include: failure testing, corrosion testing, chemical analysis, fatigue testing, metallography, and weld testing. The highly specialised laboratory design equipment used for testing requires specific training in order to operate properly. Many industrial facilities include some kind of training facility for new staff members to develop their skills.

Process & Metallurgical Equipment

The three main processes that are carried out in a metallurgical lab need to function in cohesion to enable samples to be processed with the maximum efficiency. For each of the processes, consider the following points.

Cutting – The separation of the specimen from the work piece is usually the first step a metallurgical lab has to undertake. Think about the position of cutting machines in relation to where the samples are coming in.Another factor that is worth bearing in mind for all of these stages is heavy equipment that can have an impact on the benching over time. Check weight limits and structural certifications of any furniture you consider.

Mounting – The purpose of the second step is to protect fragile or coated materials during preparation and to obtain perfect edge retention. One important factor to consider for both the mounting and preparation stages is water drainage as mounting equipment and polishers require drainage of coolant etc.

Grinding &Polishing – Mechanical preparation is the final stage and prepares materialographic specimens for microscopic examination. The specific requirement of the prepared surface is determined by the particular type of analysis or examination. Usually this involves grinding and polishing the block until a smooth metal surface is achieved which can be examined under a microscope.Consider the storing of samples once prepared perhaps with Gratnell tray units or similar solution.
Furthermore, at this stage think about where you will locate acid storage and fume cupboards for the storage and handling of etchant solutions. It is very important that your technicians are using the correct type of fume cupboard for the etchant in use. Fumes must be extracted safely from the work environment.

Final overview

The importance of the metallurgical laboratory is highlighted by the fact that nearly every item we use in a given day contains metal components that have been tested and approved by a metallurgical lab. The car you drive, the aircraft that flies you to your holiday destination, the tools you use to make repairs around the house, and even the structural steel in your office building have all been rigorously tested by metallurgical labs. We all want to know that we can trust the safety of these items. Without proper metallurgical testing, manufacturers have no way to ensure a metal component’s safety.

It is essential therefore that metallurgical labs and equipment are designed well to ensure the important work that these labs perform to ensure our safety can continue at the highest level.

About Kastner

Here at Kastnerlab, we’ll help you ensure you get the most out of your metallurgy laboratory, drop us a line on [email protected] or give us a call on 01275 464220 to book a free laboratory design workshop.

Microbiology Laboratory Design Guidelines

metallurgical lab technican using equipment from Kastnerlab

Microbiology laboratory design requirements

Key Considerations

The basic objectives of a microbiological research laboratory can be defined as follows:

  1. Protection of the experimenter and staff
  2. Protection of the surrounding community
  3. Maintenance of experimental validity

Bearing these three objectives in mind, the initial step that should be taken in designing a microbiological research laboratory is an analysis of the research activities that will be undertaken, the hazards associated with each operation, and an evaluation of the relationships that exist between each activity.

Time for a laboratory seating upgrade?

KastnerLab is pleased to announce that we are now an approved Bimos distributor of laboratory seating.

Smart, modern, and designed with laboratory use in mind, Bimos seating adds a new dimension to your laboratory.  With many models to offer, and a host of variations, there is something for every laboratory. Whether you are doing routine pipetting or spending hours analysing asbestos under a microscope, we guarantee to have the right ergonomic solution for you.

Choose from the Bimos Neon with its seven adjustments and the choice of footplate or footring, hygienic design and robust construction.
Or the simpler Bimos Labsit. Available with feet or castors, the flexible back of this chair makes for an extremely comfortable seating position.

Both chairs come with a ten year warranty.

Call us today with your enquiry and we will be glad to arrange a demonstration. Tel: 01275 464 220

Exova accept offer from laboratory rivals, Element Materials

With spring nearly upon us we have set the date for our second annual open day here in Bristol at our west country offices, warehouse and showroom.

Element Materials Testing relocate to Rotherham

This week, we have a new case study detailing our job for Dycotec’s new lab, including a complete overhaul of their laboratory space including the modern addition of wall graphics.