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Construction requirements for animal laboratories

Updated: Apr 28, 2023

An animal laboratory is also known as an experimental animal room, which refers to a building suitable for raising and breeding experimental animals. Such buildings should have specific environmental requirements and experimental means to ensure the quality of animals and the accuracy and reliability of experimental research.

1. Requirements for the construction of animal laboratories

There are different requirements for the design and management of animal rooms for different levels of experimental animals.


Sterile, known bacteria, and animals without special pathogens all need to be raised in sterile or as sterile an environment as possible. This environment is currently commonly known internationally as a barrier environment, which uses a barrier to isolate the animal from the surrounding contaminated environment.

From the perspective of controlling microorganisms, this environment can be divided into five categories:

  • isolation systems

A system for raising animals in containers with operating gloves, used for raising sterile and amphibious animals. The interior shall maintain a cleanliness level of 100 as required by microorganisms, but the rooms and operators provided need not be considered as sterile rooms.

  • barrier systems

A sterile clean room of around 10000 to 100000 levels is used as a breeding room, mainly for long-term breeding and reproduction of animals without special pathogens. Strict management shall be implemented when entering the room, such as taking a shower, changing personal clothes, etc.

  • semi barrier systems

Relax the management of people and objects entering and exiting the room in the barrier system, and the plane composition is roughly the same as the barrier system.

  • open systems

Open systems are systems that do not eliminate pollution when people, objects, air, etc. enter or leave a room, but usually require some level of cleaning management.

  • laminar flow frame systems

The cage is placed in clean horizontal laminar flow air. It is commonly used for small-scale feeding, but there is a risk of contamination during feeding, handling, and handling in general rooms. Can be used to supplement a semi barrier system.

2、 Site selection requirements and architectural design for animal laboratories


According to the regulations on the management of experimental animals in China, the construction of animal laboratories should be located away from noise, pollution sources, and downwind of the plant area. At the same time, there should be green isolation belts to prevent the plant area from affecting the environment of the laboratory animal room, and also prevent the laboratory animal room from polluting the environment of the plant area.

The laboratory animal room should be built in a place with a clean and quiet environment, high and dry terrain, good drainage and ventilation, and guaranteed water and electricity supply.

Try to stay away from factories, prosperous residential areas, slaughterhouses, livestock and poultry farms, as well as areas threatened by epidemic sources and polluted by public hazards. The animal houses of production and scientific research institutions should be built separately in a community, isolated from other departments.

The size of the cleaning preparation room must be determined based on the work content and the space occupied by facilities such as disinfection and sterilization devices.

The cleaning preparation room, cleaning corridor, and washing room are separated by walls, and cracks are not allowed on the walls.

The ground should be flat and not slippery, free from water seepage, leakage, corrosion by resistant liquids, and abrasion resistance. For rooms with strict environmental requirements, it is also necessary to consider selecting materials with low dust emission. The corner between the wall and the ground should be smooth without edges and corners.


Internal walls should be smooth, water resistant, wear-resistant, and resistant to corrosion by disinfectant. The included angle between wall and wall, wall and ceiling or beam should be smooth without edges and corners.

The ceiling generally does not bear pressure, and uses a thin cement board coated with waterproof materials, which can withstand water flushing and disinfection water corrosion.

Generally, there are no external windows in the feeding room, and there are no internal windows between the feeding rooms to avoid interference.

The door of the feeding room should be sealed with aluminum alloy, and the opening direction should pay attention to the indoor and outdoor pressure difference. Doors between barriers and non-barriers should be equipped with devices that cannot be opened unless certain conditions are met.

Generally, wooden structures are only used as simple temporary buildings, mixed structures are mostly single- story buildings. Reinforced concrete frame structures have good integrity and small deformation, and are suitable for use in multistory buildings. The enclosure structure with steel skeleton, galvanized corrugated metal plate and polystyrene rigid foam plastic plate as the thermal insulation layer has good airtight thermal insulation performance.

3、 Layout Design of Animal Laboratory


The animal laboratory generally consists of a feeding room, a health observation room, an isolation and quarantine room, various laboratories (surgery, experimental processing and anatomy, postoperative management, disease diagnosis, treatment, physiological and biochemical tests, microbial quarantine, feed nutrition analysis, and special feed preparation rooms), as well as storage rooms, cleaning preparation rooms, washing and disinfection rooms, and staff rooms (including offices, showers, changing rooms, etc.) Corridors (clean and polluted areas), waste treatment facilities, machine rooms, substations, etc.

The key to the layout of an animal laboratory is that personnel, objects, animals, and dirt cannot be contaminated in and out. The principle for arranging the laboratory animal room is to provide purification and dressing facilities for personnel when entering, disinfection and sterilization facilities for items when entering, as well as waiting rooms and quarantine rooms for foreign animals to enter, as well as dirt corridors for transporting animal carcasses and dirt out, and dedicated temporary storage rooms for dirt.

The layout of the clean level laboratory animal room mainly includes purification facilities such as:

  • Personnel changing shoes, changing clothes, and washing clothes;

  • Preparation facilities for storage, disinfection, sterilization, etc. of goods;

  • Animal quarantine, feeding, observation and other experimental facilities;

  • Clean corridors, dirt corridors, and dirt rooms, as well as auxiliary facilities such as offices, archives, and power distribution.


The plane size of the laboratory animal feeding room is determined based on comprehensive research such as feeding quantity, feeding method, cage rack specifications, arrangement, indoor environment, feeding management, and operation methods. In order to avoid temperature and humidity gradients in the vertical direction, the cage height should not exceed 1.8 meters, and the ceiling height should be within the range of 2.2 to 3 meters. The width of the corridor should be convenient for operation and handling of materials and equipment, and should not be less than 1.3 meters.

The enclosure structure uses color steel sandwich panels, and it is recommended to use glass magnesium sandwich panels and rock wool sandwich panel which meet the national fire protection requirements.

  • The surface of the inner wall should be smooth and flat, and the interface of the color steel panels should be sealed with silica gel;

  • Circular arc aluminum alloy internal and external corners are used at the junction with the ceiling and ground;

  • The ceiling panel is made of 50 mm thick glass magnesium paper honeycomb sandwich panel, and the ground is made of 2 mm PVC sheets.

  • Doors and windows should have good sealing performance, using finished steel doors, and observation windows should be left on the laboratory door. The width of the door opening should not be less than 1000 mm to facilitate the entry and exit of experimental items and equipment;

  • The location of air supply and exhaust in the laboratory should be reasonable to avoid dead corners as much as possible;

  • Reasonably configure the power load according to the power consumption of each facility; All electrical wires should enter the distribution box in the facility through the process inter layer;

  • All wiring in the facility shall be concealed, and the electrical control box shall be clearly marked.

5、 Animal laboratory construction management area

  • The area before personnel and goods enter, including animal disinfection and quarantine room, dressing room, transfer window, etc.;

  • Cleaning and disinfection area: The washing room and autoclave are arranged at the junction with the goods storage room. The cleaning pool is equipped with two continuous drainage tanks made of stainless steel. The internal size of the tank is determined through consultation with the owner, and the washing room is equipped with ventilation facilities;

  • Experimental area: Animal feeding area, including storage room, corridor, animal feeding room, animal laboratory, etc.;

  • Machine room: provide air supply for the animal room, install direct-expansion combined air conditioning units, air supply and exhaust ducts, etc.;

  • The working illuminance and animal illuminance in the feeding room are automatically switched every 12 hours.

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