Unexpectedly caught in a pressure-filled situation with only eight weeks to renovate YDL Dental Laboratory in Carrollton, Texas, owner Sami Yared, CDT, successfully fulfilled his dream of creating a modern, sophisticated, efficient laboratory.
Laboratory owner Sami Yared, CDT, didn't necessarily want to move his laboratory. After all, he liked his location in a renovated house in an affl uent neighborhood and knew his high-end clients enjoyed sending patients there for shade-taking. But in six years, YDL Dental Laboratory had grown from seven to 20 technicians--due, in part to exploding implant and sleep apnea departments--so things were crowded and parking was a huge problem.
In 2008, Yared purchased a building in Carrollton, Texas, and planned on taking some time to design and build the lab of his dreams while trying to sell the old building. However, the building sold very quickly, creating a pressure- fi lled situation in which Yared only had an eight-week window in which to renovate and equip the new laboratory before needing to vacate the old one.
"We had moved the lab a few times over the last 20 years but we had a huge project ahead of us to design and renovate 7,200 square feet of open space," says Yared. "Everyone was telling me to have a contingency plan because of the short turnaround, but I didn't. I just knew it had to get done."
Luckily, Yared had already started working with designer Denice Murphy of Funktional Design Group, beginning with bubble diagrams to organize workfl ow for maximum effi ciency. Murphy also used 3-D modeling, a combination of CAD design and virtual-build software, enabling Yared to virtually "walk" through the laboratory and make changes before building even began. (Take your own video tour of the floorplan on LMT's digital edition on http://www.lmtmag.com.)
For example, after looking at a few versions, Yared thought it would be convenient to have a hallway from one end of the laboratory to the other without walking through the production area. The solution was to move the shipping and receiving department to the side of the building to create enough room for a hallway.
Flooring, color schemes and even décor were depicted on the 3-D models. "The models were pretty true to what we have now and allowed us to make many decisions ahead of time," says Yared. "It was so helpful because I'm much more visual than conceptual." After 13 drafts of the plan, renovation began and was completed within the eight-week deadline, although not without several snags--and a few of what Yared calls "heart-stopping" moments-- including incorrect deliveries, permit problems, and mis-measured electric and air lines.
The result is a modern, sophisticated building that has afforded YDL a new effi ciency that goes beyond Yared's expectations. "In the old place things were disorganized; we had case pans everywhere and technicians were working overtime even when we were slow. Now every technician has his own workspace and we use Lab- Net software to control production and scheduling," he says. "We've become so effi cient that we're able to get the same amount of work done with two fewer technicians and no overtime."
After months of design, renovation and stress--and a little more than a $2 million investment-- Yared likens the process to a marathon: it was grueling while it lasted but he couldn't be prouder of the result. And you can bet that clients are even happier to send patients to this laboratory. "This kind of building lends you a lot of credibility," says Yared. "Clients and patients see the investment we've made and that says a lot about the kind of laboratory we have."
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