From rLab

New building requirements


  1. When the council re-develop our area, pages 152 & 153 of the local plan suggest that will be required to move out before 2026, and by 2031 at the absolute latest. Since we’ll be forced to compete with all other occupants for what space is left in Cardiff Road and Portland road estates, we should move sooner rather than later if an opportunity presents. Steve has registered with local estate agents and is making regular checks to see what might become available.
  2. When we have to close to new members because of congestion, Tony is analysing this to determine when we might reach maximum reasonable capacity and start having to turn prospective members away.


Only the most critical requirements, these will only be ignored if we are actually forced to move before we wanted

  • Industrial unit, in industrial or mixed-use area. No residential or retail areas.
  • 1250 - 2500sqft (rLab is currently circa 1500 sqft, downsizing only an option if forced)
    • If we're forced to rent then we're probably looking at circa 2000sqft
    • If we're able to buy using commercial mortgage or raising funds from members then nearer 2500sqft may be possible
  • Standard industrial rated floor (20KN/sqrm?)
  • 4+ parking spots
  • Central Reading location
  • 24/7 Access
  • At least 2 WCs
  • Roller door for main workshop


These would be nice, and we expect to get most of them. Absence of these doesn't rule out a property as we can do without/create them if we have to although substantial effort may be involved.

  • 2+ stories - We can live with single if we need to but 2+ stories preferred
  • 3-phase power @ 125A+ per phase - We can either get 3-phase fitted, or learn to live with single phase
  • Ready made "office" area that's 40+ square meters - We can build it if we have to
  • Ready made "store" area that's 15+ sqrm - We can build it if we have to
  • High bay area for large projects - Would limit some activities, but we could go with out if we absolutely must
  • Functional fire alarm

"Would be nice"[edit]

Would be good to get some of these but they're definitely not required and we can make them if we have to

  • Ready made "soft crafting" area that's 15+ sqrm
  • Ready made paint booth area
  • Accessible entrance
  • An accessible WC
  • Room for an external shop-air compressor
  • Room for an external gas bottle store