Services contract is half cost of animal-health laboratory

A sophisticated ventilation system in this animal-health laboratory maintains a negative pressure of up to –100 Pa in the building.
A sophisticated ventilation system to maintain a negative pressure of up to –100 Pa has been installed by Hills Mechanical & Electrical for an advanced animal-health laboratory in the south of England. It is part of a services installation valued at £2.5 million, half the total cost of the project. The laboratory will be used for research into cures for diseases affecting farm animals, including BSE and foot-and-mouth disease. Because of their highly infectious nature, containment and filtration of the air in the laboratory is essential. There are three air-handling units, any one of which can provide the minimum air flow required. Two will normally run in tandem. If the 11 kV mains supply is lost, an 800 kVA diesel generator can supply all essential loads, including the ventilation. In the unlikely event of a total failure of the AHUs, a system of dampers and doors will automatically seal the building. Microbiological HEPA filters scrub both the fresh air and extract air to ensure there is no cross-contamination. All ducting is sealed with rubber O rings to prevent air leakage within the building. A unique feature is the casting of the housings for the filters and light fittings direct into the 225 mm concrete ceiling slab to guarantee an airtight seal. To maintain constant environmental conditions so that the results of research are not affected, the HVAC plant is controlled by a building-management system. A single air-to-air screw chiller cools incoming air in summer and heat is provided by steam plant. Waste is channelled under the floors to a treatment plant at one end of the building, to be heated by steam to destroy all bacteria before disposal. The services were designed by GPJ Consulting Engineers, and the main contractor was Dean & Dyball.

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