At the beginning of this month, Lab Manager Magazine released an article with contributions from MerJ Architecture called ‘Designing a Cannabis Lab.’
Lab Manager is a quality, science and business oriented online media outlet that has done a fantastic job keeping up on the latest trends in laboratory design. As an architect who thoroughly enjoys the process of designing cannabis labs, I was happy to contribute to the conversation about best practices, testing process flow and the particular challenges that we encounter in such facilities. We’re grateful to have had the opportunity to design not only certified testing labs but also extraction, manufacturing, R&D and QC labs such as those in the MedPharm facility (pictured below).
Lab design requires particular attention to HVAC systems integration. Scientists routinely work with flammable liquids, corrosives and pathogens which need to be carefully filtered or ventilated to ensure safety. MerJ Architecture regularly partners with mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineers such as IMEG Corp., with whom we have developed a close working relationship to share knowledge and coordinate between disciplines.
In the end, it’s satisfying to know that we can contribute to making the cannabis space safer for those who work in these facilities as well for those who consume!
Satto (…and Nicole says hello, too!)
THAT’S A WRAP
A bit about a project we’ve completed…
- Project Name: MedPharm Iowa
- Type: Dispensary
- Location: Des Moines, IA
- Overview: MedPharm enlisted MerJ to support in the design and development of an 18,000sqft facility in Iowa. Our services covered everything from Programming, Space Planning, and Process Throughput Analysis to Staff and Process Workflow, cGMP Zoning, and Project Phasing Strategy. We were technical consultant to FEH Design (the Architect of Record) and IMEG (the MEP Engineering team) through DD and CDS. MerJ was also able to advise on the Security Plan for the Site & Building as well as the final Signage Plan.
“There are two primary types of cannabis laboratories: in-house and third party. While in-house laboratories may be used for product testing, third-party labs are certified through an accredited lab certification program that is sanctioned by the state government and can perform tests that are mandated by state marijuana and/or hemp regulations. State mandated testing must be done in a third-party lab; it cannot be performed in-house,” says Satto Rugg, MArch, NCARB, owner and principal, MerJ Architecture LLC. “In-house laboratories are usually built as part of a cultivation and/or processing facility, and are used by the grower or extractor for research and development or for quality control purposes. These labs may contain the same equipment as state testing labs. Other spaces which have similar requirements to laboratories are extraction, post-processing, and manufacturing rooms within cultivation and processing facilities. These areas often follow similar GMP to labs regarding cleanliness and safety, but have equipment for the production and packaging of final cannabis products instead of testing equipment.”Satto Rugg, Lab Manager Magazine, June 2020
What we’ve been reading (or listening to!) lately…
- The Importance of Integrated Workspaces and Work Styles | A ‘Knowledge Paper’ article by Symbiote with great perspective on technology’s impact on working styles, multidisciplinary labs, and space planning.
- 7 Black Architects Who Have Shaped Modern Architecture | A (not at all exhaustive…) look at the brilliant work of Black architects whose work continues to serve as a testament to talent outweighing constraints.
- Designing a Cannabis Lab | Developing a facility for cannabis testing and research is not an easy undertaking.
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