Case Studies

The following represents the difference a consultation from Global Biohazard Technologies yields in the construction or certification of a laboratory. The case studies listed address the importance of certification and the wide reach of our services. Our trained and experienced professionals are prepared to provide guidance and answer questions in all types of circumstances. See how your laboratory, research and team can benefit from GBT’s multidisciplinary team approach.


Howard Hughes Medical Research Institute –University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, Nelson Mendela School of Medicine:

The HHMRI – University of Kwa-Zulu Natal project is a multi-million dollar project to develop and build a research and clinical laboratory facility for the study of XDR Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Durban, South Africa.  Global Biohazard Technologies has been contracted to supply biosafety expertise in the design construction and certification of the BSL-3 biocontainment laboratories for the project and to act as the owner’s advocate in this process.  The project is currently in the design stage and preliminary designs have been reviewed with subsequent changes made in the design to insure an efficient, safe and cost effective design.  GBT personnel will be reviewing the various stages of the plans as they are developed and will be certifying that the facility meets all required guidelines and regulations.  Please see our reference with regard to this project.

NIAID NBL’s and RBL’s:

The staff of Global Biohazard Technologies has been involved in the evaluation of the construction documents of the National and Regional Biocontainment laboratories being funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease since the beginning of that project in 2004.  As sub-contractors on this project we have reviewed construction drawings throughout the design process for compliance with the CDC/NIH Guidelines.  As a result of our commitment to the safe and efficient operation of these facilities we have found numerous areas in which the design was either lacking in appropriate safety features, or inappropriate, unnecessary and expensive equipment was included, in spite of the fact that very accomplished and well respected architects and laboratory planners were involved with the initial design.  Through this process, in conjunction with safety personnel at these facilities, we have insured that the facilities have the appropriate safety features at a minimal cost to the institution and that the facilities are certifiable upon completion.  Please see our reference with regard to this project attached.

New BSL-3 laboratory in a newly constructed “state of the art” laboratory facility:

This laboratory had been built and GBT was requested to review the SOP’s and certify the laboratory to be in compliance prior to start-up.  The laboratory was part of a new, state of the art laboratory facility which had been in operation for several years.  The laboratory was designed to BSL-3 requirements, but was being operated at BSL-2.  During the evaluation of the facilty it was found that although the two exhaust fans were each running at approximately 75% of their capacity there was virtually no directional air flow.  A close evaluation of the laboratory demonstrated that none of the room penetrations were properly sealed, but the doors were virtually air tight.  In addition, there was a canopy hood over the autoclave door on the containment side which was directly connected to the canopy on the non-contained side allowing air to be pulled from outside of containment through the canopy hoods. 
Remediation of the penetration sealing problems, removal of the door gaskets and the removal of the containment side canopy hood should improve the directional air flow in the laboratory.  Failure to have a third party reviewer of the design concepts of this laboratory, added several months to the start up time and thousands of dollars for remediation.

Public Health Laboratory:

A public health laboratory was designed and built as part of a renovation project in an existing building without consultation with a knowledgeable biocontainment professional.  Following design and construction by a reputable local A&E firm, GBT managing partners were requested to visit the lab for certification.  It was found that although there was directional air flow from the corridor into the anteroom, there was virtually no differential between the anteroom and the laboratory.  In addition it was noted that the ceiling was tiled with acoustical ceiling tiles and that the flooring was the tile floor that had been in the room prior to renovation.  The biosafety cabinet was improperly installed and a number of other problems were uncovered during the evaluation.  The laboratory was eventually opened following more than a year of further renovation and at an extremely high cost.

University Research Facility:

A university completed the construction of a Biocontainment Laboratory Facility with a suite of BSL-3 research laboratories and a BSL-3 Animal facility with an aerosol testing laboratory and requested that Global Biohazard Technologies professional biosafety personnel visit the site and certify the laboratory and animal facility.  The facility had been commissioned and GBT personnel had been involved with the review of the safety features of the laboratories and animal rooms from the onset of the design process.  In addition, GBT personnel had visited the facility numerous times during the construction phase and had provided guidance on HVAC systems and on the sealing of penetrations and final finishing of the facility.  Although some minor problems were noted, the facility was capabable of being certified very soon after completion.  GBT personnel, as part of the certification process, reviewed the safety SOP’s for the facility and assisted the Health and Safety personnel of the university in developing appropriate, site specific SOP’s which allowed for a safe and efficient operation of the facility.