Certain areas of science and technology have been reawakened and revitalized as a result of the novel corona virus. This disease that wrecked the world’s economy is the mastermind behind a slew of manufacturing industry innovation, a growing number of research opportunities in the field of medicine, and the development of some complex capabilities that had never existed before.

Despite being blamed for some countries’ lockdowns and economic recessions, including the United Kingdom and others, it has significantly contributed to the growing innovation in the lab design industry.

During the pre COVID-19 period, this design industry was known for operating on a decentralized code of conduct. There was no coherence in goals, objectives, or key design units – property managers, building consultants, and others were simply off on their own. However, thanks to the coronavirus, new design ideas emerged from the ashes, advanced structure models came to life, worker safety became a priority, and client goals became more universally synchronous.

Let’s take a look at the lab design trends for 2021, as influenced by the pandemic.

Good Serenity For the Common Man Was Prioritised

Prior to the pandemic, no emphasis was placed on the quality of air in the design room. Looking back, one might be justified in concluding that employee safety was not prioritized. Previously, work was being done, but a blind eye was mostly turned to the working conditions of the environment.

However, many building directors are now focusing on the serenity of key work territories such as administrative and contiguous rooms. Designers are also working hard to improve the quality of HVAC systems. This is done to avoid cross-contamination between workers and products.

Collaborative Team Spaces

Previously, team spaces were more of a private space for individuals to carry out their job responsibilities. The COVID-19 pandemic has reversed this trend, with team efforts being prioritized, supported, and encouraged through the establishment of team spaces.

These areas, ranging from operation spaces to team areas, are gradually becoming a part of the design building. Despite the fact that it leaves little or no room for error, the culture of team management is frequently present in most design meetings.

In the long run, this could lead to more innovation and forward-thinking design industry trends.

Program Shift

The novel COVID-19 pandemic has caused a general shift in program work lifestyle. During the lockdown, many lab design professionals stayed at home or practiced safe distancing when venturing out.

Thousands of them were pushed out of the labor force, while others transitioned to online remote work. This trend appears to be accelerating and is expected to reach double digits next year.

Furthermore, many lab managers are shifting toward project collaboration via Zoom and other social media platforms. This has reduced the area of occupied office spaces because most design professionals prefer to work from home.

This trend has been the primary reason for the conversion of the majority of these facilities into laboratory and design rooms. And if this trend continues, the quality assurance of design projects will be above average rather than below average.

Additionally, energy and resources will be directed toward ensuring that facility upgrades and infrastructural development of design laboratories spread.

Flexibility and Adaptability

While the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic caused unprecedented global economic collapse, it also taught a lesson.

In the past, research centers did not receive the attention they deserved because their importance was overlooked. There is a steady increase in the number of research facilities with good facilities nowadays. This is especially visible in the world of lab design, where development centers are now designed to house more equipment, cutting-edge technology, and appliances.

Nonetheless, R&D labs have benefited from the trend, as they have been improved and upgraded to accommodate design working environments such as furniture and panels. This innovation is expected to reduce the cost of building renovation. As a result, lab buildings will become more adaptable to changing business dynamics.

Furthermore, lab design work spaces have become more adaptable – collaborative team spaces have been one of the driving forces behind this new development. In addition to the increased emphasis on research, design lab innovation is expected to thrive.

These gains are expected to be driven by collaborative teamwork and improved facility working conditions.

A/E Design Process Efficiency

Most developers and other key design professionals have been under increasing pressure from tight scheduling as a result of project deadline constraints. The COVID-19 pandemic has raised awareness of the benefits of using Revit and Information Modeling (BIM) to achieve better results.

Aside from the risks, bugs, and issues associated with accelerated schedules, the engineering design components are less likely to be effectively integrated if an advanced design model is not used in the project. Furthermore, in cases of complex project design where mechanical, civil, and electrical components are linked together, effective coordination is required, which can be accomplished through Information Modeling.

Even so, some clients argued that these project designs should be visualized using 3D graphics and animations. As a result, most design experts were forced to use complex equipment to improve the efficiency of the design process. In addition, equipment such as 3D drones and laser scanning devices were introduced to improve the accuracy of measuring and evaluating project estimates. Eventually, this will reduce the time spent drafting project design models, resulting in faster project delivery.

New Programming Needs

The new coronavirus pandemic pushed programming to the forefront of design. Chain management and cold storage are two solutions that have been kept at arm’s length in the A/E/C industry.

When the COVID-19 arrived and left its mark on the world, the need for a vaccine became apparent; however, storage became an issue. Some of the requirements for safely storing some of the proposed vaccines included regulated or low temperature storage; as a result, cold storage became the general effective solution. In addition, the cold storage solution allowed for the storage of finished products.

Furthermore, more research and development has been recorded as a means of safely storing and distributing gas has been prioritized. This is done to ensure that hazards that could cost money are effectively contained in a facility.

Lean Integrated Project Delivery

Lean integrated project delivery is one of the trends in lab design that has emerged as a result of the pandemic. The integrated project, abbreviated as IPD, thrives on teamwork and collaboration.

Prior to the arrival of COVID, design professionals achieved positive project outcomes in terms of structure and fabrication. Currently, there is a call by most clients for improved quality on design project delivery.

These concerns have arisen primarily to address the issues of threats and risks in project delivery. Furthermore, in order to increase productivity and achieve the end goal of the design process, the team’s approach routes to work should become more united.

This is unavoidably where the lab design industry is heading.


There can be no steady growth without sustainability, and the pandemic has changed this. Many facility design players have shifted their focus away from total/complete facility renovation and toward maintenance.

Most of these managers have embraced green initiatives in design projects, such as solar power generation systems and sensors, to improve non-hazardous design work. Energy consumption is also an issue, but designers have improved the overall state of design monitoring systems by implementing a utility control strategy.

This trend is expected to continue through 2021 and beyond.

Awareness of Standard Operating Procedures

The design industry was one of several sectors that failed to adhere to standard project procedures. However, one of the positive developments brought about by the virus is increased awareness of the use of standard operating procedures, abbreviated as SOP.

As standard procedures involved in project delivery have been observed more than ever before, this has gradually become the norm for most companies and brands. 

Nonetheless, most facility managers have extended safety checks to areas outside of lab spaces. This is done to improve worker health and is implemented through several checkpoints to scout potential risk during the project delivery process.


Without a doubt, the emergence of the novel COVID-19 pandemic devastated the world’s economy, but it also brought about some changes in science and technology.

The lab design industry has benefited from many positive trends that have emerged as industry practices have shifted from a focus on the work environment to a focus on personnel safety. Furthermore, significant evolution has occurred, and most lab design experts have embraced these trends, which are likely to continue indefinitely.

Furthermore, the common man’s serenity, collaborative team spaces, program shift, flexibility and adaptability, A/E design process efficiency, new programming needs, lean integrated project delivery, sustainability, and awareness of standard procedures were prioritized.