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9/13/07 2:49 PM Page 47

was responsible for the complete mech- erinary Medicine. “Dr. Kawaoka is one of The building will also include a com-
anical, electrical and facility design. The the leading researchers of the [avian] flu plex air filtration, water purification and
projected was recently awarded a LEED virus, and he needs facilities that can be waste disposal system.
Gold certification, the first industrial fac- worked in safely and efficiently.” “All of these systems have to work
ility in Wisconsin to do so and one of the ACS leveraged its strategic partnership together, in addition to the normal engi-
first industrial facilities in the nation to with Flad and AE, and worked closely neering, we have the issue of security,”
achieve this rating. with university staff to understand the Tracy explains.
complexity of the project. When complete, Tracy says, the build-
A Biotech Booster Shot The design phase took 15 months to ing will represent the most sophisticated
When the University of Wisconsin ann- complete before moving into construc- research lab of its kind at the university.
ounced in March 2006 that it would es- tion in fall 2006. Also upon completion, the building
tablish an Institute for Influenza Viral “Jim Corkery and I were practically will undergo a rigorous inspection by the
Research, ACS saw the opportunity as a roommates,” Tracy quips, noting that the federal government and other organiza-
perfect fit. university played a large role in the design tions including the Centers for Disease
Although the company had experience and planning phase for the facility. Control and the USDA.
constructing labs for other companies, “We have been intimately involved The project represents the first time a
facility has been built
specifically for a
researcher at the uni-
versity. In addition, it
is being built by pri-
vate money and on a
relatively fast-track
Under typical cir-
cumstances, construc-
tion would be over-
seen by the Wis-
consin Division of
State Facilities, but,
since it is being paid
for by private fund-
ing, the majority of
which comes from
the Wisconsin Al-
umni Research Found-
ation, it avoids leng-
thy approvals and
allows for better col-
laboration between
the owner and con-
the UW project reached a new level. throughout the design and now the tractor. “This gives us a great deal of flex-
The challenge: to design and build a re- building process.” ibility as end-users to work directly with
search laboratory for the university capa- “We were responsible for completing the construction firm and architects
ble of meeting the strict safety standards the design and construction, including without going through the state system,”
and systems involved in avian influenza purchasing [$2.5 million] of specialty according to Tracy.
research. The $12 million laboratory is equipment,” Corkery explains. Tracy also says this project will serve
being designed specifically for UW pro- The 30,000-square-foot facility features as the model for future projects and col-
fessor and renowned virologist Dr. Yosh- small, medium and bulk autoclaves for laborations between the university and
ihiro Kawaoka and his 30 to 40-person processing lab waste; highly specialized the research park.
research team as part of a retention pack- building security systems; and a BSL-3Ag “I think ACS is doing a great job, and I
age, as well as to accelerate avian flu re- suite. The specialty suite – which stands think that this is probably the most com-
search into a possible vaccination. for Biosafety Level 3-Agriculture – is at plicated building they have every built,”
“It should be a measure of the stature the second-highest level on the federal gov- Tracy attests. “It’s been a good learning
that he holds on campus; his status in the ernment’s regulations for working with experience and I think this will help fur-
filed of virology is very high,” says James viruses that could pose a health threat if ther establish [ACS] reputation as a quali-
Tracy, associate dean of the School of Vet- they escaped the lab. ty containment lab contractor.” ■