For this project, our third for the Maine State Department of Marine Resources, we provided laboratory biosecurity and infrastructure upgrades for the seawater research lab in West Boothbay Harbor.
The existing lab had been seriously damaged as a result of a fire in the space. This immediate damage was coupled with long-term exposure to the humid environment inside the lab, resulting in failure of the wall framing and finish in the room. From previous experience with flowing seawater labs, we knew the existing metal stud and painted gypsum board walls were not a good choice for wall construction. Our replacement walls used masonry bases, exterior grade gypsum sheathing and fiber reinforced plastic wall coverings.
The program for the project also included completely rethinking the seawater needs of both the research and aquarium sides of the Boothbay facility. In conjunction with DMR staff, we designed a much more energy efficient seawater system that also provides a better environment for sea life.
The two prominent features of the seawater lab are now a seawater holding tank and a quarantine area. The holding tank acts as a seawater supply capacitor to relieve peak demands from supply pumps. The quarantine pit provides biosecurity both in the lab and to the ocean through ultraviolet filtration.