UCSD - Stein Lab

This project involved an upgrade of an existing 1000 SF research laboratory space on the third floor of the Stein Clinical Research Center at UCSD's Main Campus in La Jolla. The project was jointly sponsored by the UCSD School of Medicine and the Veteran's Administration. The upgrade was designed to improve physical security and maintainability of the space in order to meet or exceed the latest NIH criteria for containment and de contamination. The critical design components included new impact resistant widow openings, new bubble tight penetration sealants, new door hardware to better control differential pressure gradients, new passage control lighting systems, and new architectural finish systems to enhance the ability of the space to be de contaminated. The new work also involved the installation of heat removal systems at the autoclave, new flush furred wall systems and new above wall cabinet enclosure systems.
Design Approach:
Several reviews and surveys of the existing space had been completed by the University and the VA. These reviews focused on the need to improve the security of the space and the need to improve the ability of the space to be maintained clean, and to be decontaminated when needed. The surveys identified general guidelines published by the National Institutes of Health as goals and guidelines, but enabled the means to meet those goals to be selected and implemented based on the actual existing construction of the space. This space has been used as a BSL (Biological Safety Level) 3 (On a scale of 1 to 4, 3 is a space that requires comprehensive control schemes). Our approach was to consolidate the reviews and identify individual improvements that would address multiple issues with an objective of minimizing disruption of the existing space use.
Design Issues:
The space dedicated to this containment laboratory is within an existing space used for advanced scientific research. The surrounding space is required to be maintained in operation for the maximum amount of time possible during the renovation and upgrade of the BSL space. In addition, other related work involving the building HVAC system was to be accomplished in concert with this work, and elements of the work scheduled in a way that would not duplicate critical elements of the scope of work.