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Biocontainment facilities - Design & construction

Context

A well designed biocontainment facility is one that meets a number of legal and technical requirements and provides an effective support to efficient and safe operations. Both aspects need to be taken into account when designing a new facility. Moreover, as the efficiency of containment will depend upon its weakest critical elements, the biocontainment concept and the technical specifications must be defined in an overall and consistent approach based on a good understanding of the projected activities, their risks and the purpose and functioning of engineering devices.

Services

The main service we offer with respect to planning and construction is advising prior to or during the design phase in order to make sure that all the biosafety aspects are taken into account in an appropriate manner. We are able to provide this service for laboratories, animal housing, large-scale and cGMP facilities.

Our approach is to start from an in-depth analysis of the users requirements that involves all operational and safety aspects, including those related to logistics and maintenance and those that are specific to Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) or Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP). This analysis together with a pragmatic and rather conservative risk assessment serves as a basis for the definition of the needed technical features.

In using such an approach we want to ensure the facility to be built will be adapted to its purpose and easy, safe and cost-effective to operate. We also want to make sure the biocontainment features are adapted to the actual risks. From this point of view, a well-designed facility is not necessarily more expensive than a poorly designed one.

We also provide support in the commissioning phase, to check the performance of devices that are critical for biosafety. This part is mostly done through the collaboration of specialised third-party commissioners.

We provide these services either as advisors of the project owner or as a support to the architect and engineering office.

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