By Debora Hankinson, Director of Strategic Facility Planning , CRB
Has anyone asked you, "What is your laboratory capacity?" In the scientific world of planning laboratories, defining capacity is not so straightforward. This makes answering the question challenging unless you have a method in place. The reality is, you have options for measuring your laboratory capacity.
It has been my experience that a strategic facility plan for a company's laboratory resources cannot be developed without a clear understanding of the existing resource's capacity. What is lab capacity? Well, that is the first step: Each company must determine how it will define capacity for its laboratories.
By contrast, in the world of offices, capacity is most often defined as the "number of workstations" or "number of offices" that a particular space or building can accommodate. This then translates to the number of people that this space can support, so it's pretty easy, for example, to identify that a specific building, with a specific office/cube configuration, has a certain headcount capacity. If that building is reconfigured, it may have a different capacity.