6-mm FRPs, $27/ft2; and WRGWB, $9.50/ft2. The board-panel assemblies can be constructed quickly and result in a very smooth finish, compared with CMUs; with wall protection, they can hold up well against the demands of rodent-based animal facilities.


In summary the major finding and opinions expressed in this chapter are as follows:

  • Proper design of the animal facility is a major determinant of the institution's ability to deliver cost-effective animal care. The design team should include the facility director, facility manager, researchers and representatives of the animal care staff with day-to-day experience in the facility.

  • Cost reductions should be calculated over the life the facility and take into account equipment, material and workforce interactions and durability.

  • Labor savings are a distinct advantage for the use of ventilated rack systems for mice due to the reduction in the frequency of cage changing. In addition, ventilated cage systems connected to the room exhaust have the advantage of improving room air quality and reducing worker exposure. Careful selection and analysis of available ventilated cage systems for the conditions of intended use are necessary for a sound financial decision and improved operational efficiency.

  • The use of conventional water delivery via bottle is laborious, time-consuming and likely to produce repetitive motion injuries in personnel. Automatic watering systems and alternative water bottle design and methods of handling warrant evaluation as a possible cost-saving, injury-sparing measure.

  • Designers of animal rooms should take into consideration ease of equipment use and animal handling to reduce worker fatigue and injury.

  • The use of robotic equipment to perform monotonous tasks, such as preparing cages for washing, is projected to have financial advantages and to reduce the incidence of ergonomic injuries in personnel. Robotic equipment may prove to be a viable investment for institutions processing as few as 2,000-2,500 cages daily.

  • Interstitial space for access to the animal facility mechanical areas should be provided because these areas require frequent preventive maintenance and repair services that are disruptive to ongoing research and smooth facility operations.

  • Wall materials that are durable but less expensive than the widely used concrete masonry units may be appropriate in some animal facility applications.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement