The $19 million Biological Research and Diagnostics (BiRD) Facility was built for the University of Alaska – Fairbanks’ (UAF) Biological and Computational Sciences program. Kiewit Construction Company, a subsidiary of Kiewit Corporation, constructed the 40,500-square-foot veterinarian administration space that today serves as a central animal research and diagnostic facility for small arctic animals, birds and fish.
The two-floor facility and mechanical penthouse was constructed on concrete footings and foundation walls with a structural steel frame. The facility houses stand-alone heating and cooling equipment and ventilation fans to comply with animal care certification standards. The facility’s interior contains special laboratory finishes such as epoxy floor and wall coatings as well as custom casework. Special mechanical and electrical systems support laboratory functions such as ventilation pressurization gradient control and monitoring, diurnal lighting systems for animal holding areas, contamination barrier protection with animal cage washing systems, UAF campus integrated fire alarm and security system and an incinerator for necropsy support.
Special attention was given to energy use for this arctic facility by integrating air-to-air heat recovery systems, high-efficiency lighting, occupancy sensors and other energy saving systems while meeting the strict National Institute of Health guidelines for laboratories. The team also helped minimize the potential for re-entrainment of laboratory exhaust. Kiewit’s flexibility and resources enabled the aggressive schedule to be met without disrupting ongoing University operations. It was completed on time, within budget and with zero recordable accidents.