Laboratories cost approximately five times as much to construct and operate than office buildings. To compare, the average cost of an office space in London is £57.50 per square foot, whereas the average cost of a laboratory space is £70 – £125 per square foot. Not only do laboratories cost more to rent, they also cost more to run. According to the Whole Building Design Guide, laboratories have a substantial annual energy cost of £7-£21 per square foot. Therefore, effectively cutting costs in your laboratory is essential to maximise profit and ensure essential resources don’t go to waste. To help you budget successfully, we have collated some cost-saving ideas for laboratories that involve just a few minor changes, but elicit major impact.
Expenditure & Budgeting
Before you can budget successfully, you must first acknowledge your expenditure. Although it can be a tedious task, we recommend keeping an up-to-date and detailed record of all your expenses, including staff salaries, supplies, equipment and general running costs like electricity bills. This way, you can easily identify where unnecessary outgoings could be reduced.
With these new insights, you can develop effective strategies to cut the overall costs of your lab; the money you save on unnecessary items can be invested in laboratory glassware maintenance. Taking care of your everyday essentials will reduce the need to repurchase, saving money in the future.
Once you develop your budget, it’s important it remains flexible. A successful budget plan is usually one that adapts with the evolution of the business. Therefore, you should regularly incorporate new financial figures, so your budget remains as accurate as possible.
Choosing the Right Equipment
Before purchasing new supplies, it’s integral you do your research. Others in the scientific industry may have a greater understanding of different products, suppliers, and equipment features so it’s a good idea to ask around for recommendations. For high-end pieces, take the time to understand their maintenance contracts and running costs so you can determine whether it’s a feasible investment or not.
Once you have a list of equipment, highlight items that only require occasional usage. Rather than buying these items outright, why not collaborate with a nearby laboratory to share the equipment? Sharing supplies with your wider community is one of the best cost-saving ideas for laboratories, as you can evenly split the cost to reduce your outgoings.
Maintaining & Upgrading Equipment
Most laboratories are packed with items from everyday essentials like laboratory glassware, to specialist equipment such as rotary evaporators. Maintaining this equipment is one of the best cost-saving ideas for laboratories. In our throwaway culture, it can be tempting to unnecessarily purchase new releases and the latest models. However, maintaining your equipment – particularly your everyday essentials – reduces the likelihood of replacements in the future.
With that said, laboratory equipment accounts for a significant proportion of your energy usage, so it’s important to have the most efficient pieces to help reduce overall running costs. Upgrading older items to energy-efficient models or investing in environmentally-conscious pieces like glassware washers can reduce expenditure.
Energy-efficient glassware washers are one of the most effective cost-saving ideas for laboratories. The washers can reach a temperature of approximately 199°F and so better maintain laboratory glassware compared to handwashing. Not only do they remove tough substances and contaminants, but they also lower your overall water consumption.