Anchoring Design Decisions on Research Discovery: The GWUH Laboratory

Lab renovations take a team effort with the best results involving close cooperation with the client and lab planner. User engagement in the early stages of lab design provide direction and decisions. In the case of The Clinical and Anatomic Pathology Lab at George Washington University Hospital (GWUH), several goals were in mind in planning the redesign of this facility. This presentation will show working closely with GWUH created informed guidelines that were driven by user input, eliminating waste and data based efficiency comparisons. The session will discuss the techniques used to complete the renovation: 1) On-site observations; 2) LEAN/Kaizen event; and 3) 3D simulation modeling.

The following techniques were used: On-site observations and interviews occurred to assess behavioral impact of the facility on the users; quantify how people and features of the built environment impact each other; and recover hidden value from space utilization and performance. A two-day event was held with all key stakeholders of the Lab. The goal was to understand current state and future goals; eliminate waste; streamline workflow; and build team consensus. 3-D simulation modeling was used to create a digital prototype that could asses the capacity and performance of the suggested solution. This exercise focused on throughput efficiency; walking distances; and space utilization. The outcome assisted in choosing the best direction forward.

The GWUH Lab was growing in testing volume while the footprint of the laboratory space was not growing. Therefore, the space needs to be reconfigured with the following goals in mind: Maximize testing space; create optimal laboratory workflows; accommodate growth in specific departments; and accommodate new automated equipment in the core lab.

Attendees will:

• Learn about research techniques that can be used to analyze a facility’s efficiency.

• Explore how design research, LEAN and simulation modeling can assist in making informed facility decisions.

• Understanding the importance of user engagement in early laboratory design and planning.

• Identify opportunities to support staff satisfaction and testing accuracy and safety in a laboratory setting.

AIA CES Unit: 1