We recently spent ~18 months designing a new Chemistry and Chem-Bio building. It is 110,000 ft2 and 4 stories: 1st general Chem teaching lab (up to 254 student per session), 2nd- Organic teaching (220 students), 3rd- Chem Bio research and 4th Organic synthesis research. At the time we had all users (researchers and instructors) justify their needs. All wanted and justified gas. 2 years later we resurrected the project after we finally got funding and again had everyone justify their needs. Again gas was justified. We do have mechanisms where we can isolate and shut off areas, but it will be plumbed throughout the facility.
We have had a lot of issues where we do not have gas for teaching or research labs in smaller buildings, and the researchers or staff go out and buy a 20 lb. propane tank for their burners. Our Fire Marshalls have gone ballistic, as our fire codes only allow us to have one, 1 pound propane cyl in any building at any time. This alone has caused havoc with our plumbers and construction methods teaching labs (who teaching plumbing and HVAC techniques, etc.). After the propane was removed, our Bio labs screamed that the university could not meet their needs. At least we got rid of the BBQ grills!!!
At least here- we have a push for plumbed gas in all new natural sciences buildings and all those same undergoing renovations. If we are going to have gas, I’d rather have it plumbed and with shut offs than having flammable cylinders of any type with tubing. I can “see” the need (vs. want) for it in many applications. Our concern/focus is not to tell our researchers how to do their research or teaching, but more on how to do it safely with any hazard.
Coordinator for Clinical and Laboratory Safety Programs
Environmental Health and Safety
University of Florida
POB 112190 Bldg 179 Newell Dr.
Gainesville, Fl 32611-2190
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