Albany Medical Center’s BSL-3 Laboratory Project was completed in the basement of the Albany Medical College Building and consisted of the construction of procedure rooms, work areas, holding rooms, locker rooms, and an air lock space.
A Biosafety Laboratories are graded on a scale of 1 to 4; 4 requiring the strictest standards of operation. It is typical, within a level 3 lab, for work to be performed on microbes that are inhalants that pose serious threat to human life and are often fatal. West Nile and Yellow Fever, are examples of viruses that are commonly studied in a level 3 lab.
The new laboratory space had to be constructed adjacent to existing space that was often operational 24 hours a day. Due to the construction requirements, all architectural, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical components had to undergo multiple testing to obtain governing agency approvals. The walls were constructed of masonry, the ceilings and walls were covered with epoxy systems, and the floors were comprised of a multi-layer epoxy system.
The mechanical system is a stand-alone system; all ductwork was field welded and tested. The largest challenge of the project was the coordination of the complex mechanical system which had to be 100% sealed from the outside space.