Iowa State University's transgenic swine facility at Zumwalt Station Farm in Ames received an Award of Distinction from the Modular Building Institute in May of 2015. The 2,904-sf project was designed, manufactured, and installed by Art's Way Scientific. Supporting research on the genetic modification of domestic animals for agricultural and biomedical applications, the standalone facility incorporates biosafety features to protect a closed herd of swine. Comprised of two 16'6" x 88' modules, it includes a double shower-through entry, changing rooms, laundry, restroom, storage, preheat, a biohazard filter area, and 2,178 sf of animal housing space. Cast iron slatted hog flooring supported over a sealed pit with a scraper system allows sanitary waste management and removal. Flexible stainless steel pens provide a social animal environment for individual, paired, or group housed animals. Structural insulated panels create a sealed envelope with sound attenuation properties, finished with steel siding to match existing campus structures. The interior surfaces consist of an antibacterial, seamless, fiberglass-reinforced epoxy coating system. Insulated doors and windows are used to monitor animal activity and the environment. Special emphasis was given to the ventilation system, which includes MERV 8 supply filters, cascading positive pressure air flows, and differential pressure from room to room to promote animal welfare. Digital sensors monitor temperature, humidity, and air flow, and room heat is supplied by thermostatically controlled heaters tied to a multi-stage control system.
By utilizing a modular solution for agricultural animal research programs, Iowa State University achieved a 50 percent time savings as compared to traditional construction, and the project was delivered for approximately half the cost of a site-built ABSL-2 facility. The building design eliminated the need for bedding purchase, handling, and disposal, and the foundation and infrastructure cost of $25,000 is 60 to 70 percent less than that of a conventional structure.