Memorial University of Newfoundland – Animal Resource Centre

Architecture driven by architecture 

Science & Technology

The Animal Resource Centre (ARC) supports research and teaching at Memorial University’s Faculty of Science and Faculty of Medicine, including groundbreaking investigations into the role of genetics in human health. Our utility distribution strategy located the large, heavy mechanical equipment within an adjoining substructure in a sidehouse configuration, feeding the laboratory and vivarium spaces on each floor through horizontal service runs. Compared to typical roof- or basement-level equipment locations with vertical service shafts, the sidehouse configuration delivers important advantages: the open floorplates improve space efficiency and increase flexibility; the separate utility structure allows off-site prefabrication and reduces construction time; and the structural isolation minimizes the transmission of noise and vibration to the animal housing areas. Air handling units and other mechanical equipment can be readily accessed from the outside, easing their replacement and reconfiguration; inside, building systems can be serviced without entering controlled areas. The multi-species animal holding areas house mice, rats, woodchucks, and Yucatan minipigs. Surgical suites, procedure rooms, an imaging suite, a necropsy suite, a diagnostic laboratory and other specialized facilities are planned to optimize inter- and intra-departmental adjacencies and maintain CL2 containment requirements.

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St. John's , NL
Memorial University of Newfoundland

John Hearn Architects
DBA Consulting Engineers
CORE Engineering
Pageau Morel Associates

DIALOG Services

Laboratory Design

The ARC is composed of three interlocking elements: The sidehouse utility rack at upper right directly connects to the service-intensive laboratory/animal housing block through horizontal runs. At the bottom are the office workspaces and collaboration areas.

The sidehouse configuration avoids the typical large vertical service shafts, opening up valuable floor space and facilitating future reconfigurations.

Intricate arrangements of valves, ducts, and air handling units require precise coordination during design and construction.

Equipment of considerable size and complexity is required to serve the laboratory and animal housing areas. A continuous strip of glass wraps around the ground level, showcasing the equipment to passersby.

The Team