Skip to main content Skip to main content

Bristol-Myers Squibb Vivarium Energy Conservation Project

Marc Estra, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company


Bristol-Myers Squibb operates a 1MM SF drug discovery laboratory in Wallingford, Connecticut. This facility has 150+ research animal housing rooms which operate 24 x 7 to support the drug discovery effort at the site. The facility was originally constructed in 1986 and utilized a pneumatic HVAC control system to maintain environmental conditions in the animal rooms including air exchange rates, temperature, pressure differential control and in some limited cases humidity.

In 2000 the site Engineering and Veterinary Sciences departments experimented with electronic based HVAC controls to maintain tighter environmental control in the animal rooms. Based on the testing that was performed a project was initiated to convert all the animal housing rooms to direct digital control coupled to a centralized building automation system. The new controls will allow the animal rooms to maintain a tighter range of environmental conditions and also will reduce the maintenance requirements to operate this facility. The site has recently embarked on reducing the average air exchange rates from 18 to 15 per hour due to the higher reliability in the controls. Additionally, a program has been initiated so that rooms that are vacant can be shut down remotely to conserve additional energy. This upgrade also allows room environmental conditions such as temperature, room air exchange rates and differential pressures to be rapidly changed so that species can easily be moved from one room to another.

This upgrade has increased energy conservation, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and has resulted in more stable environmental conditions in the animal rooms.


Marc Estra has a Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Northeastern University and a Master's degree in engineering from the University of Bridgeport. He is a licensed professional engineer in the State of Connecticut.

He has over 20 years of mechanical engineering experience working in the utility industry on coal fired power plant construction and start-up during the early 1980's and then involved with product design and manufacturing of diesel engine cooling systems for the construction and industrial equipment industry. For the past 15 years he is been employed by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company at their research and development facility in Wallingford, Connecticut.

Mr. Estra is currently responsible for facilities engineering, construction, maintenance and utilities for the one million square foot Bristol-Myers Squibb facility in Connecticut. He also leads a regional maintenance governance board to improve maintenance and operations productivity within the organization.

Mr. Estra has served on the Advisory Board of the Hartford Construction Institute and currently is on their Facilities Management Council. He is also a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineers.

EPA Home | OARM Home | DOE Home | FEMP Home

This page is no longer updated.
EPA gave I2SL permission to house this page as a historic record of the Labs21 Annual Conference.