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Lab Design

Design Courses, National Science Learning Centre

The National Science Learning Centre, York, runs a course called ‘Lab Design: Future Science Accommodation for Teaching and Learning’. It is aimed at all those involved in the design of school science accommodation: architects, local authority officers, science advisers, deputy head teachers and bursars, as well as heads of science and senior technicians. 

Main items of guidance

The two main publications can be downloaded here:

Other guidance documents

Other documents offering guidance on the design of school science laboratories can be downloaded here.

Concise guidance, drawing from the two main publications plus updating:

Wide range of examples of different designs for lab interiors:

Education Funding Agency (EFA, part of the DfE) – Baseline Designs

As part of the current government’s austerity drive, the EFA publishes designs for whole schools that they call ‘Baseline Designs’. The designs themselves, with associated guidance can be found at:

DfE publications

The current government has ordered a revision and reduction of the Schools Premises Regulations and associated guidance, which has resulted in a great deal of guidance being archived (and in a manner that makes it very difficult to retrieve). The Regulations themselves are being severely cut and many sections are likely to refer to design being merely ‘suitable’. Architects and others will then need to access the archived guidance to see what this might mean.

Guidance with special relevance to science accommodation can therefore be downloaded here:

Building Bulletins:

  • BB88 Fume Cupboards in Schools  
  • BB93 Acoustic Design of Schools
  • BB98 Briefing Framework for Secondary School Projects
  • BB100 Design for Fire Safety in Schools
  • BB101 Ventilation of School Buildings
  • BB102 Designing for Children with SEN
  • BB80 Science Accommodation in Secondary Schools

Managing School Facilities:

Archived articles from the ASE’s Laboratory Design for Teaching and Learning (LDTL) project, 2003 – 2005: