Stanford Boswell Building -
Fish and Mouse Facilities

About the project

In 2006 and 2007, AGC provided design-build services for Stanford University to design and install two animal research facilities in the basement of an existing lab building. The fish research facility was approximately 5,000 sqft, the mouse research facility was approximately 1,000 sqft, and provisions were made for a future small amphibian research facility. Each of these projects had specific requirements for temperature control, noise, and ventilation air changes in order to maintain a consistent environment for the animals so that the environmental variable in the research could be eliminated.

These projects had three unique factors that made them more difficult than the typical lab project. The first factor was that the projects were located in the basement of an existing 3 story building. New air handlers and ductwork were required in the retrofitted spaces in order to achieve the high air change rates required for the animals. However, the routing for chilled water and ductwork from the roof down to the basement level could not disturb the upper floors. AGC implemented design solutions that delivered the required utilities without disturbing the rest of the building.

The second factor that led to difficulty on the fish facility project was that the fish tanks and life support systems were provided by a specialty vendor. The phasing of the project was such that AGC had to install some portions of the fish vendors piping before the fish life support equipment ever arrived on site. AGC successfully coordinated the overlapping scopes of work with the fish equipment vendor and provided additional design solutions as required to troubleshoot the installation. This was a good example of exceeding customer expectations by having the engineering experience to resolve field issues quickly.

The third factor that led to difficulty on these projects is that they were located in a building that was under jurisdiction of OSHPD. The requirements for seismic supports, fire penetrations, documentation, and overall installation on OSHPD projects are more stringent than in typical construction. Since our inception, we have been continuously doing work with OSHPD throughout the Bay Area. AGC brought this experience to bear on these animal facility projects and consistently received approvals on each phase as the project progressed.