a method as described in the CARS Manual (NIH 2000). The cost analysis should be examined for areas of potential cost savings and be the basis for setting fees.
For efficient animal research, an institution can provide core laboratories for a number of services, such as cryopreservation of embryos and semen, monoclonal-antibody production, production of transgenic and gene-knockout animals, histopathologic analysis, and experimental surgery.
There is a clear economy of scale in research facilities. Labor productivity was markedly greater in institutions with fewer but larger facilities. Institutions should strive to centralize their animal care to as few sites as is compatible with research use.
Physical plant factors are an important element in the cost of operation of an animal research facility. The physical plant should be designed with efficiency and long-term reliability in mind, and it should be well maintained.
Individually ventilated caged (IVC) systems provide a satisfactory environment for animals with reduced frequency of cage changing. This results in savings in labor and supplies. Institutions should compare the potential savings from such systems with their cost and invest in IVCs whenever it is justified.
Automatic watering systems are a labor-saving device. However, if water bottles are used, steps should be taken to maximize the efficiency of the change and filling process, such as use of automatic fillers, use of ergonomically designed tools to remove and reinsert sipper tubes, use of bottles with weep holes, and use of larger bottles to reduce change frequency.
Supply costs can be reduced through judicious selection of items used and through bulk ordering.