Cavanagh Pharmacy Building
|Most of the group moved to the Cavanagh Pharmacy Building (shown across) in 2007 to occupy the top floor labs specifically designed for the group.
The Cavanagh Pharmacy Building shown above was officially opened on the 6th March 2006 by the then Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment, Micheál Martin. Built at a cost of €22.3m, The Cavanagh Pharmacy Building (CPB) comprises some 5,600m2 of teaching and research laboratories, lecture theatres and seminar rooms and support space. It is home to both the undergraduate and postgraduate facilities of UCC’s new School of Pharmacy, as well as to the university’s Analytical and Biological Chemistry Research Facility (ABCRF), and also houses a dedicated industry suite to facilitate collaboration between UCC and the pharmaceutical industry. The Cavanagh Pharmacy Building is located adjacent to the university’s BioSciences Institute and the BioTransfer Unit to facilitate leading edge university-industry research collaborations.
Since its opening the Cavanagh Pharmacy Building has become the new home to the Organic and Pharmaceutical Research Team, operating within the ABCRF.
We are delighted to now work in such a modern facility, given the fact that our previous laboratories were in excess of thirty years old. The laboratories in the CPB (see below) were designed specifically for the group and have a much higher density of fumehood space per lab than our previous facilities allowing for almost all "wet" activities to now be carried out in a hood.
Both the East and West side of the building were designed with a central write up area which ensures that all researchers do not have to remain in a laboratory atmosphere while updating lab books and reading up for their next reaction. The write up areas were also designed to include a large quantity of document storage space, so that research paperwork could be archived in an easily accessible manner.
Each synthetic lab has an associated instrument lab, where HPLC, IR, Polarimetry, microbalance and freeze drying facilites are housed, allowing for easy access of these facilities for the researchers as they are required. Each laboratory also has a hand wash basin, eye wash facility and drench shower.
Researchers can spend a significant portion of their day working in the laboratory, so the air quality of the labs needs to be as much as possible free from contaminants such as organic solvents. To this end and to improve the security of the laboratory in case of a fire, all organic chemicals and solvents in the laboratories are now stored in designated vented cabinets. The Kottermann chemical cabinets (above left) are fire resistant to 90 minutes as are the storeLAB under fumehood cabinets (above right). The design of the labs also included vented glass drying ovens (below left). As the ducting from this would have to be compatible with hot organic solvent, 51mm ID EDPM rubber ducting was sourced for this purpose. Also all rotary evaporators use double diaphragm pumps as their source of vacuum (below right), which include an atmospheric pressure secondary condenser. This ensures that ~99% of all solvent is condensed at this stage. Despite this, each double diaphragm pump exhaust is also vented to a local extract duct through 1” unbraided PTFE , in order to ensure the air quality of the labs.
We have also recently installed a glovebox dedicated to the handling of highly toxic and/or potent materials. The glovebox supplied by MACH-AIR Ltd has the facility to work with either an atmosphere of air or if necessary nitrogen, for the handling of oxygen/moisture sensitive compounds. Access to the glovebox is through a transfer hatch from an adjacent hood, so even when removed from the glovebox the materials remain in a controlled environment.
Finally, as with all synthetic labs a lot of waste material can be generated, which needs to be disposed of in a safe manner. To this end all of the solid waste within the laboratories is placed in fire resistant bins, which limit the amount of oxygen available to a fire should one occur. Also, as waste solvent can be a real hazard in any laboratory, this is stored in dedicated polyethylene lined UN rated metal drums, which are removed regularly and the contents send for disposal in accordance with local regulations.