The new US Department of Agriculture (USDA) high-containment animal facility combines several research facilities into one location. The new building is the second component of a multi-phase $460 million project.
The “high-containment” designation means the building is designed for optimal safety and security because the scientists will work with a variety of endemic, zoonotic and foreign animal diseases in what is called Biological Safety Level 3 (BSL3) space. This includes features such as airtight walls, filtered air and liquid waste treatment technology.
Designated research areas
The new building contains more than 155,000 square feet and will house cattle, bison, elk, deer, reindeer, sheep and pigs. It includes designated areas for research by scientists with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) as well as for diagnostics-testing training and biologic product evaluation by employees of USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).
Largest in the world
A consolidated lab and a low-containment animal facility are still under construction. By 2009, when the project is expected to conclude, this complex will be one of the largest animal health centres in the world. It will have about one million square feet of laboratory and research facilities, including the BSL3 space.
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