HT Group builds a corona virus laboratory at the Technical University of Munich
Comprising six modular elements and two storeys, the new virus testing centre at the Institute of Virology was completed in a record time of 10 weeks.
On 19 and 20 February 2021, the HT Group delivered a total of six prefabricated laboratory modules, including foundations and with a direct connection to the Institute of Virology at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). The modular buildings, which were fabricated off-site in a factory, included the laboratory fit-out and building services for the Biosafety Level 2 extension laboratory.
The building is constructed from sustainable materials such as a larch solar shading screen, a pared-down concrete structure, recyclable metal constructions and is designed with a green roof.
The modules were transported and lifted into position via the service yard and underground car park of the university hospital (Klinikum rechts der Isar). The installation was only possible within a very short timeframe from noon Friday to Saturday evening. At the same time, the narrow access road had to be kept permanently clear for deliveries of medicines and vaccines. The laboratory equipment can now be installed and the supply and IT lines connected to the existing building.
The modular construction adds a further 140 m² of laboratory diagnostics space and provides the structural and technical conditions to expand laboratory capacity with additional testing equipment (Cobas 6800 from Roche), laboratory workbenches and 7 workspaces for doctors. The modular buildings were delivered straight from the factory to the site with the help of 7 heavy-load transporters. The concrete substructure had already been delivered, brought into position and fixed in place the day before. The total procurement time from ordering to delivery was only 10 weeks.
The new building for the TUM Institute of Virology has become necessary to handle the steadily growing number of PCR analyses for Covid tests in a timely manner. For particularly time-critical construction projects, the HT Group offers prefabricated solutions for interior fit-outs including complete buildings. This enables the delivery of a building that is ready for immediate occupancy, – and even more importantly – offers process reliability for operation within a few weeks, including planning, construction and commissioning. The design concept allows for a variable configuration of rooms and utilisation units with varying laboratory and clinical requirements.
The construction project at the TUM Institute of Virology shows that the prefabricated solution enables short project durations as well as the implementation of demanding standards in terms of interior fit-out combined with building services engineering. With the cooperation of the hospital, TUM and Munich State Building Authority, the aim is to put the laboratory into operation and begin testing in March 2021.
The Biosafety Level 2 safety laboratory is initially intended for the detection of viruses. Swabs from the nose and throat and biological material extracted from the lungs and lower airways will be examined, along with various blood and biopsy samples, environmental samples and possibly also animal material. In accordance with the risk assessment, the samples may contain pathogens in Risk Groups 2 and 3, such as SARS-CoV-2. As the work involves what are known as ‘non-specific activities’, the structural, technical and organisational measures of Biosafety Level 2 will be implemented.
Classification of Biological Agents in Risk Groups (German BioStoffV)
- Risk Group 1: Biological agents which are unlikely to cause disease in an individual.
- Risk Group 2: Biological agents which can cause a disease in an individual and could pose a hazard to employees; spreading in the community is unlikely; effective prevention or treatment is usually possible.
- Risk Group 3: Biological agents which can cause a serious disease in an individual and could pose a hazard to employees; spreading in the community is possible; effective prevention or treatment is usually possible, however.
- Risk Group 4: Biological agents which can cause a serious disease in an individual and pose a serious hazard to employees; spreading in the community may be considerable; in normal situations, effective prevention or treatment is not possible.
Key biosafety project requirements
- Design requirements in accordance with technical rules TRBA 100 and design guide DGUV 213-086
- Easy-to-clean and disinfectant-resistant surfaces (work surfaces and adjacent walls, floors and areas around equipment and apparatus)
- Jointless wall/floor junction
- Doors with vision panels
- Electronic access control
- Uninterrupted power supply (UPS) for analytical equipment, safety workbenches, refrigeration equipment and PC workstations (the latter in the office)
- Redundant HVAC system in accordance with DIN 1946-7, retrofitting with HEPA filters (H14) possible
- Minimum of 8 air changes per hour
- 20 Pa negative pressure to outside
- Controlled room temperature and humidity
- Connection to central fire alarm system
- Emergency lighting
- Monitoring of the freezer (-80°C) with connection to the building control system
Prefabrication of system modules
The fast-track solution from the HT Group enables buildings to be delivered ready for occupation in a very short time. The flexible design concept allows for a variable arrangement of the rooms with a simple connection to an existing building. It avoids long construction times and provides security at the various trade interfaces.
A building shell with prefabricated concrete elements serves as a basic framework for each unit, which can be combined to suit client-specific requirements. The interior fit-out works are installed using the proven modular construction method. The modular elements are pre-fitted in the factory and reach the construction site largely pre-installed. Only the elements that connect to the existing building need to be installed in situ.
The aim is to achieve the maximum degree of prefabrication with each individual modular element, thereby obtaining significant benefits in terms of programme, despite the demanding standards of laboratory construction.
The fast-track building is equipped with redundant ventilation systems in accordance with DIN 1946-7 “Ventilation systems in laboratories”, and is already pre-equipped for the subsequent use of H14 filters. The ventilation system provides a minimum air change rate of 25 m³/h per m² of usable laboratory space. This is equivalent to 8 air changes per hour.
A negative pressure concept with a pressure gradient of 20 Pa from the BIO II laboratory to the outside, controlled via VAV controllers and corresponding sensors, ensures a stable air flow to the outside.
In addition, the room temperature and humidity for the analytical equipment are permanently controlled within a stable range (23°C - +/-5°; 30-60% relative humidity).
Modular wall and ceiling system
Wall panels, ceilings and all other installations can be individually removed and accessed at any time. Our modular construction system enables subsequent and future changes to be made with minimum effort. This provides planning and investment security for future interior planning.
All surfaces (work surfaces and adjacent walls, floors, areas around equipment and apparatus that can come into contact with biological agents) are easy to clean and resistant to the disinfectants used. A jointless wall /floor junction is provided.
The Virology extension to Building 559 is constructed from prefabricated concrete modules with a high degree of prefabrication. This also increases the dimensions and weights of the modules, which means that the 6 building modules and 3 roof elements have to be delivered on 7 heavy-load transporters. Smaller auxiliary components are already delivered and brought into position the day before without the need for heavy-load transporters.
We were granted special permission to transport the modules during the day. Through appropriate scheduling of the heavy-load transporters we are able to prevent the transporters from blocking the access road.