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Laboratory Design and Planning

Cornwell Engineering Group has designed and performed C/A on many water plant analytical, and research laboratories. Team members have an established, proven track record of laboratory design and construction administration.


A list of recent laboratory design projects is provided below:

  • Fairfax County Water Authority, Fairfax, VA (30,000 ft2)
  • Cincinnati Water Works, Cincinnati, OH (30,000 ft2)
  • Swift Creek WTP, Chesterfield County, VA (6,500 ft2)
  • City of Camden WTP, Camden, SC (800 ft2)
  • Corps of Engineers, WAD (Washington DC ) (12,000 ft2)
  • Cornwell Laboratories, Newport News, VA (600 ft2)
  • Erie County Water Authority, Buffalo, NY (6,000 ft2)

The Laboratory Design Group brings the expertise of designers and scientists to the project. Differing from most engineering firms, the group is also involved in the daily operation of an in house laboratory certified for drinking water analysis in a number of states, including the Sate of New York. The daily work environment allows our team to be familiar with the specialized analytical equipment common to laboratories.

Cornwell's awareness of the instrumentation allows for the design of laboratories with certain needs in mind, such as the bench space required for each instrument, access for cabling, and heat dissipation. Cornwell's laboratory designs include optimizing laboratory space, considering the needs of the analysts’ comfort at the laboratory bench, and keeping costs at a minimum.

Arranging laboratory casework can be considered a simple project by some engineers. However, designing a laboratory with insight into the analytical processes, knowledge of OSHA and EPA requirements, and understanding of the analysts’ work routine requires a higher level of expertise. Because of Cornwell's professional leadership role, ongoing research projects, active in-house laboratory, and participation in the regulatory process, the laboratory group is well qualified to work with laboratory staff on all aspects of laboratory design.

During the design process, the laboratory mission criteria are established with the laboratory staff. These criteria include the tabulation of testing procedures, the equipment required for the analysis, and number of staff assigned to each lab. A conceptual plan is then developed to allocate floor space based on the expected requirements for bench top area, fume hoods, and cabinetry. The conceptual plan is integrated into the laboratory building and a final floor plan is developed.

Once the building envelope and floor plan are established, the group can begin detailed design of the laboratories. A 3-D CADD capability is used fully to plan each laboratory arrangement. The 3-D model allows the design team and laboratory personnel to visualize the working environment and plan the location of each instrument, hood, and supporting casework.