SNOLAB’s surface facility supports the operation of the lab and the science experiments installed underground. To facilitate transportation of materials and people underground, the surface facility is located a few hundred metres from 9 Shaft on Vale’s Creighton Mine site. Surface elevation at the site is 309 m above sea level, and the topography is relatively flat. The main building is three storeys, with office space, meeting rooms, 400 m2 additional clean lab space, control rooms, a machine shop, IT facilities, warehouse, shipping, and carwash space, and locker and shower facilities for staff going underground.

The surface clean lab provides space for prototyping, compatibility testing, and staging and assembly of experiments before they are shipped underground.

In addition to the surface facility on the mine site, SNOLAB maintains some space at Laurentian University in Sudbury.  The Laurentian Water Lab is equipped for sensitive water analysis, and to perform radioactive spike work that would be inappropriate for the low radioactivity environment maintained in the on-site labs.