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Animal Facility Design (AF)

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Animal Facility Design (AF)

Animal research is critical at every stage of the pharmaceutical research and development process.  Animal facility (AF) also known as vivarium is a complex facility designed to accommodate the exquisitely controlled environments for the care and maintenance of experimental animals. It is imperative that AF design or renovation requires meeting all the mandated regulatory guidelines for animal care and use along with employee safety.  The objectives in designing an AF are to achieve efficiency and flexibility, both in operations and in animal housing capacity (species and volume), and control of the environment. The most critical aspect of the facility is the maintenance of research animals free of unwanted and unacceptable diseases and chemical and biological contaminants. AF must enable fostering a steady-state existence of experimental animals with minimal stress and environmental fluctuations. The degree to which these objectives are met is largely dependent on the design, as well as the management, of the AF. AF facilities have highly controlled, regulated operations required for proper, safe and humane experimental animal activities in research, testing and teaching.

At Zyirn, our team of highly qualified, trained and experienced scientists will provide you end-to-end solutions for setting up animal breeding and animal research facilities.

Our services for design or renovation of AF include:

Provide guidance and assistance in Regulatory Requirements: Our team of experts will help you meet all the applicable codes, regulations and standards (eg. AAALAC, CPCSEA, FELASA) required for the design, construction and operation for Animal facilities.

Planning: We will help at the strategic planning stage, driven by the growth and changes of research programs, recruitment of technical and research staff, appointment of planning groups and assist in development of scope of work.

Review at Programming and Program requirements stage: We will assist and provide review in the detailed planning at the programming stage where operational and user needs are further refined and brought into focus.  This phase includes deployment of project managers, representative scientists, animal resources personnel and top management from the client team to identify the key specific requirements such as type and size of animals to be studied, degree of pathogen exclusion desired, level of biocontainment, preparation of POR document consisting the narrative and diagrams for commissioning and validation efforts,  spatial allocations between nonprogram and program components including administrative, mechanical, animal housing and animal care support. We also provide our services with budgeting and addressing code constraints and other impediments at the AF site.
Our team can help with drafting the Program of Requirements (POR) or Basis of Design (BOD) document that describes the minimal functional requirements of animal facility, defines the commissioning process, and states the methods of performance testing and assessment of functionality.

Review and provide solutions for design flaws: In case of old animal facilities or in facilities where scope of research is revised, design flaws lead to failure to meet the current needs of research and animal care end users. Most often, design flaws overlook essential activities such as feeding, bedding and cage cleaning, how the materials are procured, processed, and moved to rooms or staging areas. The exit and entry of animals and level of biosecurity required, methods and paths of waste removals, traffic flow which are critical aspects of AF. To know more about personnel movement, animal movement and material movement, contact us and allow our experienced scientists to help you with design flaws.

Establishing the budget and cost considerations: Animal facilities are one of the most complex, expensive facilities to construct and operate. The high costs are associated with the continuous, 24/7/365 operational requirements, the robustness of the engineered systems, the level of finishes that are required, and the equipment required to operate an animal facility. There is a minimum quality standard that must meet the requirements of regulatory bodies, which will typically require a minimum cost per square foot to deliver. This minimal quality level must be achieved to successfully operate a facility that is safe and protects the health of all the occupants. Contact us to help you with budgeting, building management systems (BMS), operational costs and we will provide expert insight on cost considerations.

Design and project management: Our team of experienced skilled scientists understands the specific requirements of animal breeding and animal research facilities, and all other associated requirements for AF. The facility building infrastructure, animal housing rooms, procedure and quarantine rooms, containment and barrier facilities, veterinary offices and care spaces, cage cleaning, material sterilization, maintenance of corridors and the controlled environment of animal rooms are the major factors, which affect the quality of breeding and experimental animals.

With more than 60 years of combined experience of working with the laboratory animals and designing and constructing the animal facilities, small and big alike, we at Zyirn Research Consultancy Services provide our expertise for designing, modification and validation of laboratory animal facilities.

We also provide our expertise to the animal breeding facilities in implementing the Sentinel animal programs as part of the health monitoring of the laboratory animals and also provide the technical support and guidance for import of the laboratory animals from foreign breeders and animal model suppliers.

While planning and designing the laboratory animal facility or in-vitro facility, in addition to the animal breeding and experiments, there are many other associated functions, labs such as clinical pathology lab, histopathology lab, and departments such as quality assurance unit, archives, etc. which require equal attention.

We will help with the entire design and project management process by providing our knowledge and expertise in the areas of design, specialized AF requirements, interacting with contractors and the trades, scheduling, and project timelines.

We would provide services based on the technical, scientific, regulatory and animal welfare requirement point of view.  We are not professional architects or engineers; our expertise stems from our experience as front-line users/researchers and developers of such infrastructure over the past three decades. We would provide valuable information and consultation in the entire design process. The actual construction needs to be performed by the professional architects and engineers.


Get in touch with us by sharing your requirements and we will address all your pressing needs.