The Challenge

To create a state-of-the-art, multiple-story vivarium facility that will accomodate a diversity of small and large animals for the research of infectious disease, immunology, cardiovascular, hormone and cancer research.

The facility will include small and large animal holding rooms, surgery suites, necropsy and procedure rooms, soiled corridors, barrier and containment areas, as well as a robotic cagewash area. This new facility posed unique challenges in that it would be interfaced with medical research and hospital infrastructures in an urban environment.

The Concern

To provide interior finishes that would act as the primary barrier for containment areas and hold up to the abuse in animal holding and quarantine areas. Also the new wall and ceiling system must sustain a daily sanitation and decontamination regimen while maintaining its permanent finish for long term performance. As of equal concern, utilizing a building material that would effectively address safety and health considerations, as well as comply with local and state building codes.

The Solution

Arcoplast provided a composite wall and ceiling liner consisting of a non-combustible cement core and layered with a fiberglass reinforcement embedded in a fire rated resin. The panels met the ASTM E 84 flame spread and smoke development required by local and state building codes and complies with the requirements for interior finish materials as defined by Title27, Chapter 1, Subchapter 5, Article 5, of the Building Code of the City of New York.

On the surface, Arcoplast’s high gloss gel coat provided and everlasting finish. The antimicrobial, non-porous, non-shedding gel coat is a permanent and cost efficient surface finish resistant to animal occupancies and delivers optimal performance in contamination controlled environments.

The panels were manufactured in large flat molds and cut to a modular dimension for easy handling. A kerfed edge with a spline system was designed for an easy installation and eliminated the need for exposed fasteners.

The specially formulated finishing compound for the jointing system was also developed for a monolithic joint and interior radius edge finish. This new generation of finishing compound provided strong bond capabilities, durable, pick-proof and feather-edge finish that is easily cleaned and sanitized.


  • Improved safety with Arcoplast composite panel construction incorporating a non-combustible cement core.
  • Reduced environmental risk by providing a permanent hard surface finish designed for contamination controlled environments.
  • Withstands the frequent sanitation and decontamination procedure.
  • Reduced costly and nonproductive downtime that is frequently generated by mandatory surface maintenance created by the harsh elements of the vivarium.
  • Arcoplast’s antimicrobial wall and ceiling panels inhibits the growth of mold, mildew and microbes.
  • High impact resistance; crucial in animal holding areas and containment facilities.
  • Increased life cycle resulting in lower costs.
  • Exceptional design flexibility for vivarium and clean room construction.
  • Modular components made easy for shipping, handling, storing and access to high rise construction.
  • Arcoplast composite modular panel systems are a dry construction, allowing them to be installed at any time of construction phase.