Lab Moving 101: 5 Key Actions for Successful Lab Relocation

Are you thinking about lab relocation because you are outgrowing your current lab, planning building renovations, or consolidating your space?

Lab relocation pointers

Moving a lab is a complex process. And adding temperature-sensitive biological material and active cargo can add a whole different level of processes and stress. Working with an experienced lab relocation team that can provide a move plan and then coordinate the entire job lets researchers continue to focus on their research. It also mitigates risk and saves time and money. 

Having a lab moving plan can be a guiding tool for all parties involved. And because it’s dynamic, it is practical for changing environments. So, follow these five key actions for successful lab relocation.

Do prep work

Most of this stage is advance planning and documentation along with determining ownership and custody.

Start by bringing together a project team from your organization to create a plan that includes logistics for staff and outside vendors. It’s a good idea to begin putting together your strategy at least four months ahead of the move date.

You will also want to verify ownership of all material, make a list of everything that needs to go in the move, and fulfill all documentation.

When it comes to equipment custody, it is widely accepted that principal investigators (PIs) have rights to ongoing grants. However, if equipment was acquired through start-up funding, the former institution keeps it. In some cases, PIs may be given equipment related to the research or purchase it at a discount. It depends on the study, the institution, and the PI. Like with research itself, a lot of factors play into who gets what.

Source vendors

The number one thing you should expect from a vendor is dedication to samples during transport. They must make sample viability their priority. Everything beyond this is also important. But sample protection is critical.

Choose which vendors will move general supplies – and which movers will move delicate lab equipment, temperature-sensitive materials, and hazardous materials. An experienced lab relocation specialist would be best for moving these final three items.

Selecting a vendor can be overwhelming process. Choose one with a great deal of experience moving irreplaceable sample collections, a good reputation, and back up their work with the required licenses, training, and certifications compliant with the US Dot, state and federal regulations.

Plan the move

Once you have selected lab relocation partners, it’s time to bring together the project team to discuss details. 

You will want to go over:

•    Scope of work
•    What part each person/team will perform in the move
•    Timeline
•    Any outstanding needs

It’s also smart to do an onsite walk-thru once all other details have been discussed and resolved.

Account for material and equipment

You’ve already detailed all equipment, materials, and chemicals during prep work. Now it’s time to decommission or dispose of lab equipment and supplies noted as such in your inventory list.

You should also disinfect or decontaminate the supplies and equipment you plan to take to the new location.

Inventory lab chemicals and hazardous material

When it comes to infectious material, the US Department of Transportation has special requirements for moving chemicals over public roads. So, make sure a qualified vendor packs and labels any infectious material in accordance with USDOT, state and federal requirements.

Last, once all lab chemicals and hazardous materials have been accounted for, it’s critical to have a clean out and dispose of unused material. This is a safe practice that should be handled carefully by a highly trained and experienced lab moving company – saving you time and energy when preparing everything you need to take in the lab move.

For details about how Brooks Life Sciences can help with your lab move or to REQUEST A QUOTE, click here.