Engineered Living Spaces—for Mice

Inside the Baylor College of Medicine's Center for Comparative Medicine, the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system serves a series of rooms filled with cages that house valuable transgenic mice used for research. Due to extensive cost and control engineering, the engineers at Affiliated Engineers, Inc., Madison, Wis.

12/01/2000


Inside the Baylor College of Medicine's Center for Comparative Medicine, the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system serves a series of rooms filled with cages that house valuable transgenic mice used for research. Due to extensive cost and control engineering, the engineers at Affiliated Engineers, Inc., Madison, Wis., have created an optimal environment for these research subjects.

Each room now houses a number of cage racks, with each rack having a duct system that is directly attached to air-in and air-out connections. Each cage-a clear enclosure about the size of a shoebox-attaches to a ventilation nozzle connected to the rack-duct system.

In engineering the best ventilation system for the cage racks, the engineers explored a number of options, including the possibility of having an integral fan and filter in each rack.

In the end, it was decided that the most efficient solution was to have one mechanically engineered fan/filter system located in the interstitial zone above the ceiling in each room.

According to Christina Durovich, project manager with the Baylor College of Medicine, moving the fan motors for the caging system above the ceiling and animal rooms streamlined maintenance and eliminated the need to expose service personnel to the animals.

In addition, having one fan/filter per room was more cost-efficient than one per rack, and locating the fan and ductwork above the room required less duct usage and design time. The move even improved sanitation by eliminating a possible dust ledge in the room.





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