C6 Floor plan layout Number of access corridorscirculation systemsbuilding typology

Apart from the urban and architectural design strategy the floor plan layout is a crucial factor for the building. Architects should try to achieve compact buildings with well-considered fa├žade areas and floor-to-floor heights as well as acceptable ratios of total floor area to net floor area and total cubic content to net floor area.

Circulation areas facilitate movement, social interaction and transport/supply within a building. Increasingly, the classic lab space is opened up and lab "cells" are abandoned. Instead, circulation areas are integrated into general open plan or mixed laboratory areas with writing zones, equipment and service pools. Hence, the ratio of circulation areas within buildings will decrease.

Floor plan layouts also have to enable supplementary installation of services and equipment and provide sufficient flexibility to accommodate future changes of technical building standards that cannot be foreseen.

Access systems

Single-loaded access system

Access systems

Single-loaded access system

Double-loaded access system

Double-loaded access system

Triple-loaded access system

Single- and double-loaded system (left double-loaded with dark area and laboratory, right combi lab)

Single loaded system

(open lab structure dark area/combi lab with service zone, lab workplaces and writing zone)

(For key of letter codes refer to page 43)

At the preliminary design stage, a comb-shaped layout of the programme might provide initial guidance. The further development of the design depends on the particular site, the basic architectural idea etc. Comb-shaped layouts or T, U and H-shaped variations are appropriate when particular groups of rooms have to meet increased security requirements (for instance biological and genetic laboratories). The spatial separation provided by these figures may also be desirable for individual companies as is the case in business parks. The optimal number of storeys ranges between three and four: less or more storeys generally lead to less economical solutions in terms of the horizontal and vertical floor arrangement and service layout. Today, it is generally agreed on that the air intake plant of a research building with full basement floor should be positioned in the basement and the air exhaust plant should be positioned on the roof; their position should be in vertical line with the highly equipped laboratory areas.

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