Consolidated Autoclave Installation at BSL-3 Coronavirus Laboratory

Arthur Trapotsis
Written by: Arthur Trapotsis

MS Biochemical Engineering, MBA, Consultant

With researchers around the world hard at work to develop a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, also known as the novel coronavirus, an increasing number of research facilities are working to achieve BSL-3 certification in order join the fight to find a cure.

In order to conduct research using coronavirus isolates or cultures, laboratories must receive biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) certification. To achieve this level of certification, a laboratory must include personal protective equipment, sustained directional airflow, and a self-closing set of locking doors; BSL-3 laboratories are required to be restricted and controlled at all times.

In collaboration with Research & Academic Architecture and ARES Scientific, Consolidated Sterilizer Systems recently installed a biocontainment BSL-3 autoclave in a BSL-3 facility for a Manhattan-based client conducting coronavirus research. The design and construction of the facility followed guidelines and practices outlined by multiple agencies, including the CDC.

In order to comply with these guidelines, the autoclave was equipped with a number of features found on a Consolidated BSL-3 autoclave, including effluent decontamination. Effluent decontamination guarantees that any effluent leaving the autoclave is free of harmful microbes; the unit in question is designed to cleanse any air or steam that may contain traces of the biological agent studied in the lab. Another key feature is the unit’s pass-through interlocking doors, which ensure the containment of possible contaminants while the unit is being loaded. Lastly, the autoclave was built with a Bioseal in order to maintain the air differential between the contained and non-contained sides.

Space was also a chief concern for this installation; the client required an autoclave solution that could be customized in order to accommodate the layout of the laboratory. CSS helped the client identify an autoclave with an internal steam generator, as well as an emergency power source to ensure that it is fully functional in case of power failure. In order to ensure that the Bioseal fit to the precise dimensions of the space, CSS sent engineers onsite to take field measurements of the existing facility.

This installation was a seamless process from design to implementation. Our representatives met with the client on a few occasions to discuss the requirements for the project, which gave the client confidence in CSS’ knowledge, experience, and capabilities as an implementation partner. The design build team, which consists of architects, engineers, equipment consultants, and general contractors, was able to offer the client a full range of expertise without any gaps.

“Our team’s history of designing and building laboratories and healthcare facilities made it so that we could offer the client a custom program, design to their specific owner requirements, and build complex structures on time while sticking to their budget,” said Reza Agahian, President of Research & Academic Architecture.

Drew Kevorkian, President of ARES Scientific, who, in addition to Reza, played a vital role in the success of this project said: “The fact that the members of this team have worked together on previous projects was a real value add.  We were able to communicate effectively and deliver a complete package.”

For more information about laboratory decontamination, autoclave installation, or our response to COVID-19, contact Consolidated Sterilizer Systems today.

A Comprehensive Guide to BSL-3 Biocontainment Lab Autoclaves

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A Comprehensive Guide to BSL-3 Biocontainment Lab Autoclaves