NIAAA Vivarium

Building 10, Bethesda, MD

Project Synopsis

This 1,700 sf project involved the renovation of animal facility space used in the research of neural mechanisms underlying motivation and emotion, with special emphasis on the stress response and anxiety and on the neurobiological basis of drug and alcohol dependence. The facility functions required space for rodent surgery, animal holding, and behavioral testing and analysis. Two specialized behavioral testing rooms were designed for a Noldus swim tank and a rodent maze with sensitivity to the placement of various lighting fixtures and video cameras to ensure testing subjects do not recognize orientation based on physical cues from the built environment. The second testing room holds operant chambers for ethanol self-administration, conflict testing, and loco motor activity. Vapor chambers had to be properly coordinated with the room air supply and exhaust to insure that there is not a latent build-up of high concentrations of ethanol and that it is properly diluted at exhaust.

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