When the opportunity arose to provide specialized ventilation and introduce clean air into one of the world’s most secure, state of the art, deadly virus testing facilities, Price was eager to provide the solution.

CSCHAH is home to one of only 15 level 4 labs in the world, and the first facility of this level to combine both human and animal research laboratories in one building. This 300,000 sq foot state of the art facility is home to level 2, 3 and 4 laboratories. Level 2 labs deal with infectious substances that are not airborne, such as AIDS and Hepatitis. On the other end of the spectrum, Level 4 labs are designed to handle the world’s most deadly diseases, including Ebola and Lassa Fever.


The Price team was presented with the challenge of providing an effective, visually appealing ventilation system to the entire facility, while delivering large volumes of fresh air to critical areas of the Canadian Science Center.

The products installed also required little or no maintenance in order to protect the safety and health of the work environment. Due to the diversity of this project, the builders needed a manufacturer who could provide a host of flexible solutions, from architecturally appealing grilles, diffusers and terminals in common areas, to customized specialty products that had to meet some of the strictest lab requirements in the world.


Our solution for the level 3 and 4 labs was to design and build a customized low velocity diffuser that exceeded specifications for one of the most critical environments imaginable.

The application engineering team designed a variation of the Price Radial Flow Diffuser (RFD), which was chosen for the level 3 and 4 labs because of its low velocity radial flow air pattern. The custom designed stainless steel RFD featured extra large side mounted trunk latches, liquid tight welded seams, all removable components on large butterfly nuts, and a polished perforated face. This unique product provides air at a very low velocity, minimizing the movement effect of the air surrounding the workers, while still maintaining a high rate of flow. The air pattern produced by the Price RFD is a result of its multi-angular perforated face and internal baffles.

The level 4 lab was designed as a cement 'box within a box', with the biowaste system on the floor below and air filtration units on the floor above. Due to the unique 'room within a room' construction, Price had to make numerous modifications to the RFD in order to meet the installation requirements.

When installed in a typical t-bar or drywall ceiling, the backpan of the Price RFD is normally nested above the ceiling, but because of the specific nature of the concrete double wall this was not an option. Instead, a space for the ductwork had to be cut into the cement ceiling of the outer wall, which meant the inlet of the RFD had to be designed to allow the backpan to fit flush to the cement. Special sealant was used to close off any spaces around the diffuser to ensure an airtight fit.

Since the backpan was no longer nested in the ceiling, the pattern controllers had to be modified to allow the RFD to operate properly in this new environment, which did not have the usual influence of the ceiling to contend with. In order to prevent leakage to the area surrounding the room, a specialized zero leakage damper was installed in the ductwork upstream of the diffuser.

Highly skilled welders in the Winnipeg factory assembled the 1 and 2 way RFD units for official inspection. Top officials from Health Canada, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, Public Works and Government Services Canada attended the Winnipeg throw lab to see smoke test patterns and found that the special RFD produced the desired flow.

The use of Price's state of the art laboratory (located in both Winnipeg and Atlanta) proved to be an instrumental factor in the success of this project. The lab allowed Price the flexibility to try many different configurations and perform numerous tests in order to develop the right product for the job. This level of testing ensures Price that their products will perform as promised before they arrive at the job site.

The Result

This project proved to be a huge success. Both the contractors and the architects were extremely happy with the flexibility and customization that Price offered to support all of their products. Through careful testing and numerous lab and on site visits, Price was able to collaborate with designers and engineers to provide solutions for both common air distribution concerns, as well as some of the most sensitive air flow conditions known to man.

Taking on this challenge and succeeding allowed Price the opportunity to supply nearly 100 special lab diffusers, as well as securing the contract for the rest of the architecturally appealing grilles and terminal units for this 300,000 sq foot job. Price is proud to be able to draw from this experience when considering all specialized environment applications.

Design Team Profile

Hemisphere Engineering

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Smith Carter Architects

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