James Cook University,
Mail Address: Comparative Genomics Centre,
Molecular Sciences Bldg 21, James Cook
Townsville, 4811, Queensland, Australia
Telephone: 61-7-4781 6265 Fax:
IMMUNOGENETICS RESEARCH FACILITY
||Immunogenetics Research Facility Design World Class
On February 27, 2003, the James Cook University
announced completion of construction of the Immunogenetics Research Facility
at the Comparative Genomics Centre, James Cook University.
Built on the University's Douglas campus in Townsville, the facility provides
state-of-the-art housing for the Centre's research into the genetic and
environmental risk factors for a range of diseases, including childhood
diabetes, gastritis and lupus.
The facility was designed
to provide six specific pathogen-free (SPF), environment-controlled mouse
housing rooms with conditions optimised for the study of immune mediated
disease. It features a shower-in, split-system in order to prevent incidental
infections and will be rated as a PC2 laboratory to conform to OGTR requirments
for the housing of transgenic mice. All goods entering the facility are
autoclaved, decontaminated or disinfected. All animal holding rooms are
ventilated with HEPA-filtered air maintained at 19 ± 1.5 C. One
room is configured as an AQIS quarantine room and an additional room is
capable of being configured as either an SPF holding room, or else as an
additional quarantine room.
Air Handling Unit
Floor area of 770m2, of which 40% is associated with
the air handling system and plant associated with disaster management.
Incorporates the highest standard of environmental
control available for an animal house in Australia.
Houses up to 15,000 mice with a staff of up to 7
Integrates animal attendants with general laboratory
staff with outdoor common meeting area.
Incoming fresh air is conditioned in a three stage
Preconditioned by a two pass air-to-air plate exchange
against the exhaust air.
Dehumidified and part-cooled a two-pass, figure of
eight, air-to-air plate heat exchange against air chilled by cooling coil.
Fine environmental condition control involving either
further cooling by passing the air over chilled water cooling coils, or
heating by duct mounted electric heating banks.
Each holding room receives 15 air changes/hour (225
l/s) with 100% of used air discarded, provided through independent, 99.97%
effective HEPA filters with a room pressure of +30 Pascals.
Holding rooms are maintained at 19C±1.5C and
humidity 40-50% despite external conditions of down to 5C and low humidity
in winter up to 40C and 90% humidity in summer.
Intake air for the animal holding rooms is treated
with a four-pass air filtration system:
Deep Bed filters at the pre-conditioning unit - 23%
filtration to No.1 test dust.
Deep Bed filters at the Animal Holding Rooms
air handling unit - 23% filtration to No.1 test dust.
Panel filters within the plantroom mounted filter
boxes - 20% filtration to No.1 dust.
High Efficiency Absolute HEPA filters within the
plantroom mounted filter boxes - 99.97% filtration to No.1 test dust.
Advanced drinking water handling unit incorporating
both UV sterilisation and reverse osmosis purification.
Unidirectional operator flow design with a shower-in,
dual corridor access.
Facility decontamination with gaseous formaldehyde
prior to commissioning.
Computerised control of holding room light levels,
allowing operator override
12/12 light/dark cycles
Main power redundancy by direct incorporation into
225kW backup generator.
Chiller system operates off stored chilled water.
Passive temperature control with concrete floor,
walls and ceilings of holding rooms.
Architect: Peter Scott from Tippett Schrock
Consultant: Alan Hughes from SB Autoclaves
Air handling: Trevor Henderson from Ashburner
Hydraulics: Bob Parker from Parker Hydraulics
Liaison: Les Brice from Central Services
Builder: John Schultz from Abigroup
Comparative Genomics Centre, James
Cook University, Key words: Autoimmune diabetes, Type 1 diabetes mellitus,
childhood diabetes, lupus, systemic lupus erythematosus, haemolytic anaemia,
hemolytic anemia, Coombs' test, antinuclear antibodies, renal failure,
glomerulonephritis, gastritis, type A gastritis, pernicious anemia.