A room-size dynamic test chamber has been constructed to permit the study of the conditions and factors that influence biocontaminant emissions and dissemination. The chamber, a cube with inside dimensions of 2.44 m, was constructed with stainless steel walls and floor and an acrylic drop-in ceiling. Temperature (18 to 32°C) and relative humidity (RH) control (55 to 95% RH) are provided through an air handler, conventional ductwork, and ceiling diffusers with an air circulation rate between 1.4 and 4.8 m3/min. A ceiling mixing fan is provided for experiments requiring additional mixing. Access to the chamber is through a door or a glove-wall and pass-through. The chamber was constructed within a clean room.
The chamber was designed to conduct three types of microbiological experiments: (1) growth on various building materials, (2) emission and deposition experiments, and (3) both room-type and in-duct tests of air cleaners. The chamber permits ready access for use and comparison of microbiological and conventional aerosol test instrumentation. Protocols for aerosol dispersion, uniformity evaluation, and flow and air exchange characterization have been developed, as was a microbiological decontamination protocol.