Integrated Research Facility, NIAID

Ft. Detrick, MD
National Institutes of Health
General Contractor
Gilbane Building Company
Schedule Duration
Architect / Engineer
HDR/CUH2A / Hemisphere Engineering
Mechanical Subcontract Value

Project Overview

The $105M NIAID (IRF) at Fort Detrick in Maryland was created to carry out biodefense research needed to understand microbial-induced disease for National Institutes of Health.

The facility features BSL-2, BSL-3, and BSL-4 biological containment laboratories, with unique aerobiology and BSL-4 imaging. The (IRF) will provide 11,125 square feet of secure research space for 30 investigators.

This is the first BSL-4 facility designed to contain MRI imaging technologies within containment space, and the fifth operational BSL-4 laboratory suite in the US.  

Bell’s mechanical construction included: HVAC piping and equipment; sheet metal; plumbing and lab gas piping; and equipment installations. The (IRF) contains laboratories; laboratory support; administrative areas; high-containment animal housing and research areas; radiography and imaging equipment areas; multiple mechanical levels; and central receiving and warehousing space. As the project occurred before BIM was widely accepted, Bell provided 3D rendering services to ensure that all trades were properly coordinated and embeds were correctly installed.

Innovation allowed for a customized building configuration that afforded the planning and engineering of systems flexibility to ensure that each program within the facility is built to their individual technical requirements. This strategy ensured that the maximum amount of laboratory space was built within the defined project construction cost.