This publication is a definitive research report on how the room environment affects animal care. This research is the first comprehensive examination and definition of the relationships between the cage and room environments in laboratory animal facilities.
Using hundreds of thousands of empirical measurements, live animal studies, wind tunnel testing, and computational fluid dynamics this research on over 100 different animal research facility designs has redefined long held theories and practices on the best ways to condition animal rooms. For instance, among other important determinations, the research establishes that controlling the humidity in animal rooms is more significant in managing the production of ammonia than is the use of high air change rates. This will allow the initial and operating costs of animal room HVAC equipment to be substantially reduced in some cases by decreasing the air change rate from 15 to as low as 5, while improving the welfare of the animals.
To forward this research, several progress meetings were held to solicit project input and feedback from the participants. There were more than 55 international experts in all facets of the animal care and use community, including scientists, veterinarians, engineers, animal facility managers, and cage and rack manufacturers. The pre-publication project report underwent peer review by a ten (10) member panel from the participant group, selected for their expertise in pertinent areas. Their comments were adopted and incorporated in the final report.
The publication has also been reviewed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) technical committee and accepted for inclusion in their 1999 handbook. ASHRAE is a large organization with chapters throughout the world that writes the standards for the accepted practices in the heating, ventilating and air-conditioning industry worldwide, and the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC) adopts and follows ASHRAE standards.