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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

September 24, 2004

Work begins on Carver Co-Lab plant facility

by Teddi Barron

A $2 million specialized plant growth facility is under construction on the southeast side of the Roy J. Carver Co-Laboratory.

Researchers from the Plant Sciences Institute will grow plants requiring containment in the facility, said institute director Stephen Howell. Special building components will prevent pollen and other transgenic plant material from being released into the environment. Unlike most greenhouses, windows will be sealed and inoperable. A sophisticated air filtration system with backups will filter air leaving the building and maintain ventilation and temperature in a power failure.

The upper level of the two-story structure will have a 1,562- square-foot area enclosed in glass. This space will function like a conventional greenhouse, using ambient light. The lower level will house growth chambers with controlled conditions.

State building funds will pay for the project. Researchers will begin using the facility next fall.


A special air handling system in the new facility will prevent pollen and transgenic plant particles from being released to the outside.