MSBA Science Lab Guidelines

At the July 27, 2011 meeting of the MSBA Board of Directors, the MSBA presented its new guidelines for science labs in high school facilities. These guidelines are the result of the work of the Science Lab Task Force, which includes MSBA Board members and staff, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education staff, science educators, science and technology consultants, science lab safety consultants, local architects, and construction management consultants. The task force developed a prototype design for science lab and instruction space, including requirements and best practices. Informed by the feedback of experts, this group put forth science lab prototypes that are curriculum-driven, accommodate all science disciplines through flexibility, and provide a safe learning environment for students.

The MSBA prototype design requirements for science labs include: an allotment of 60 net square feet per student, a flexible layout that is based on the district’s science department educational plan, combined laboratory and lecture rooms, peripheral or ceiling utilities, and no fixed casework in the central floor area. Recommended best practices address issues that include: table height, type of utilities, sink width and depth, window treatments, and prep room characteristics. 
The MSBA has developed a Science Lab “Fly-Through” to demonstrate some of the MSBA science lab design requirements and best practices set forth in the science lab guidelines. The Fly-Through includes:
  • A pair of lecture/lab classrooms based on the MSBA prototype designs
  • A typical shared prep room with fume hoods and standard equipment such as a refrigerator, dishwasher, and chemical storage cabinets
  • Room layouts showing how the lecture and lab furniture configurations work with flexible table configuration and perimeter lab utilities
View the MSBA Science Lab Fly-Through which is an animated presentation of some of the MSBA science lab design requirements and best practices.

The MSBA Science Lab Guidelines and Prototypical Plans have been updated in accordance with Project Advisory #23 to be in effect for all projects that will receive Preferred Schematic approval by the MSBA Board of Directors on or after the January 2014 Board Meeting.
View Project Advisory #23