BSL-3/ABSL-3 High Containment Laboratory Design and Construction

August 13, 2019

For years, MSU has anticipated the need for additional interdisciplinary high containment laboratory space to meet the growing demand for molecular pathogenesis, pathogen control via bioengineering and drug development/testing, and other research associated with risk level 3 organisms. Some of the current BSL-3/ABSL-3 research laboratories are aging while another is designated as accredited animal diagnostic space only; therefore, the proposed retrofitting of the University Research Containment Facility (URCF) into high containment space was approved by the MSU Board of Trustees earlier this year. High containment research laboratories are designed to contain infectious agents and toxins that may be transmitted through the air and cause potentially lethal infection through inhalation exposure. A combination of facility design, safety equipment and work practices make up the containment requirements needed to prevent exposures to airborne particles. The scope of the project includes the construction of a BSL-3/ABSL-3 high containment facility using the existing walls and infrastructure in the URCF that combined with a relatively tight budget has challenged the design team. Over a year of meetings, phone calls and emails that included engineers, architects, safety professionals, space managers, contractors and consultants have led to a design specs for the bid package to go out this month. Construction is anticipated to start in August, 2019 with a substantial completion date in March, 2020. Once complete, both the USDA APHIS and CDC will conduct an inspection prior to the start of the research onset to issue the necessary permits for operation. If you have any questions about the new high containment lab, contact the MSU Biosafety Officer at 355-0153.