Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center

University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN

Project Synopsis

The project involved design services for the evaluation, re-design and re-building of this aquaculture and fisheries laboratory to accommodate research on aquatic invasive species (AIS). Specifically, the research addresses the use of various organisms including but not limited to fish species (e.g., Asian carp), invertebrates (e.g., zebra mussels), and aquatic plants (e.g., Eurasian milfoil). This project was required in order for the facility to gain operating permits and licenses from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resource (MNDNR).

The re-design goal was to provide 200 gpm of water to experimental aquariums. To achieve this flowrate, the re-design required either a new groundwater well with a minimum capacity of 200 gpm or a recycle system capable of processing 200 gpm. The re-design provides 200 gpm of water to six research bays. The water is supplied in two supply headers one heated and one ambient. Water to be discharged from the system is filtered (filter size based on type of AIS used) prior to discharge to the sewer to prevent release of AIS into the environment. The filtered solids are sterilized by chlorination or ozonation prior to discharge to the sewer. The re-design also includes darkening or eliminating the outside windows, a modular curtain system to photo-isolate individual experiments, and an upgraded electrical distribution system providing 120v ac electrical drop connections into the experimental bays. The building needs have increased physical security to control/monitor people accessing the facility and to ensure that AIS are not removed from the facility learned from the existing greenhouses. These concepts were applied to the new facilities.

LSY’s lab planning and design services were conducted in several stages including Schematic Design, Design Development, Concept Design and Construction Administration. The facility provides dedicated areas for zebra mussels, invasive plants and Asian carp and includes upgrades such as a massive water filtration, aeration and treatment system, a wastewater treatment system, and filtrated biocontainment tanks. LSY authored specifications for laboratory furnishings and accessories, fixed laboratory equipment (fume hoods, autoclaves, ice makers, biosafety cabinets, etc.), high performance finishes, constant temperature rooms, and other components specific to laboratory areas. Technical input was also provided for other building components impacted by the labs such as partitions, doors, ceilings and lighting.

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