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The VISAVET facilities: an architectural model

74 students of 4ºth course of Architecture of the Polytechnic University (UPM), visited the Health Surveillance Centre with the objective of collecting ideas for the topics of their projects, which will consist in designing of a facility for animals

September 20th, 2011

It is the first time that they faced such a big idea, and this will mean a practical way to end the course for them. To accomplish their goal, the needed to get to visit an architectural structure, this will work as source of inspiration. And these were the facilities of the VISAVET Centre of UCM.

The activity started approximately at 1 pm at the Assembly Hall of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the UCM. Sonia Téllez, the responsible for teaching at VISAVET Centre explained in a summary, the activities that there were carried out in the Centre, and, which facilities is required to perform each of these activities in an efficient and safe way. The initial brief explanation mainly focused on the areas of the Biosecurity Laboratories Level 2 and 3 (BSL-2 and BSL-3). Sonia put special emphasis on the doors of the BSL-3, since they are watertight doors (just like those in the submarines). These doors, besides creating a difference in the inner ambient pressure, also act as a barrier that protects the experiments performed inside the Lab from any outside polluting agent.

From the point of view of the architecture, the Centre has some specific requirements regarding the materials, as for example, those for the Class A Cleanroom Area, the cleanest spot of the Centre and the place where the vaccinations are developed and manufactured. Also, there are special methods applied to recycle the polluted air of the NCB3: any air passing in or out needs to go through special filters –called HEPA” whose pores are so small that do not allow infectious agents to trespass.

After the theoretical explanation of the Centre, the students of architecture at the UPM could to visit the facilities divided in groups led by María Mazariegos, responsible for the biosecurity  at the VISAVET Health Surveillance Centre of the Complutense.

The day concluded with a visit to the facilities of the Veterinary Hospital of the Complutense University. 


Rosae Martín Peña

VISAVET Health Surveillance Centre
Complutense University