Integrated Research Facility, Fort Detrick, Maryland
The new Integrated Research Facility, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH/NIAID) intramural high containment defense facility is the first ABSL 2/3/4 building to be constructed at the new National Interagency Bio-defense Campus at Fort Detrick. The key challenge for this project was to provide the first fully integrated advanced medical equipment, patient support infrastructure, and whole animal imaging core in an ABSL 3/4 vivarium environment, within a biocontainment facility model – while addressing conflicts between the stringent biosafety requirements of containment barrier design and environmental needs of the finely calibrated scientific equipment.
The facility features highly specialized multiple imaging protocols including MRI, CT-SPECT, CP-PET and X-Ray, within a high containment setting. This is the first biocontainment laboratory in the world that fully integrates advanced medical equipment, patient support infrastructure, and whole animal imaging in a BSL 3/4 vivarium environment.
A three-storey glass atrium serves as an entry point for all staff and guests, as well as the first layer of security. Beyond the security checkpoint, the laboratory modules and animal holding rooms have been configured to provide isolation of research programs which facilitates preclinical validation of vaccine and therapeutic candidates under GLP conditions.
This project had an aggressive front end design of only 8 months from the start of programming to GMP. The schedule was met, and without compromise to the scientific program, or quality due to the team’s expertise in containment design and innovation.