The University of California Irvine’s training laboratory was designed to simulate an operating BSL-3 laboratory. The university uses the lab to train undergraduates, faculty, laboratory staff, operations and maintenance personnel, and EH&S personnel. The facility is also used to provide commissioning testing and certification training to lab planners and design professionals for compliance with ANSI Z9.14.
The facility was not intended to be used for actual work nor to contain any hazardous substances, however, the design, layout, directional airflow, waste treatment, and primary and secondary barriers were completed as though the facility would be of a fully functional BSL-3 laboratory. The design also includes N+1 exhaust fans (redundant exhaust fans) that are differential pressure controlled to modulate the exhaust fan. These crucial ventilation systems further support the facility’s mission in creating and simulating an accurate laboratory environment.
IMEG provided MEP engineering design and services for the facility, which includes a classroom with strategically placed windows to the laboratory and mechanical rooms. Transparent ceiling systems allow viewing of various mechanical components installed above the ceiling. The strategically placed, floor-level, mechanical equipment allows for hands-on training and ease of observation.
The main mechanical system consists of a new air handling unit and laboratory exhaust fans equipped with variable frequency drives. Airflow control was achieved with venturi-type valves. A complete control system was provided to simulate normal operation as well as various “failure” scenarios for the laboratory and associated equipment.
IMEG’s construction administration support services included periodic site visits, answering requests for information, and reviewing submittal documents and drawings.