Creating Research Facilities that Enable Critical Scientific Development
WSP USA provided planning, design and engineering services for buildings that are aiding in the ongoing pandemic response and recovery.
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
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Science and technology experts at WSP USA have been working closely with clients in the government, academia and private sector to create facilities that enable critical research and scientific developments.
From facilities where researchers work to develop critical vaccines and better understand emerging pathogens to enable those on the front lines of biodefense and research, WSP experts draw on deep knowledge of containment best practices to provide planning, design and engineering services for buildings that lend critical support for research that saves lives, improves national security and aids in pandemic response and recovery for emerging infectious diseases such as COVID-19, Ebola, Marburg and Zika.
Great research is only possible with a great research facility. Watch the videos and read below to learn more about how researchers are using some of the facilities that WSP helped create.
WSP was responsible for the architectural design of BSL4 research space at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. WSP has designed more than 10 of the world’s BSL4 labs.
Rocky Mountain Integrated Research Facility
Located at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories campus in Hamilton, Montana, the facility complements the National Institutes of Health (NIH) program and supports national research on the top priority agents for biodefense.
WSP led the design team and provided containment architecture, laboratory planning and design services for the project – one of nine federal facilities in the U.S. with biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4) capacity – with a focus on delivering a space that was collegial and promoted collaboration between staff, in addition to enabling world-class research.
Watch the video below to hear from Marshall Bloom, M.D., associate director of scientific management at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories; and Anthony Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, about how the Rocky Mountain Laboratories facility enables the development of critical research ranging from basic science to the ultimate applied development of countermeasures.
Today, Rocky Mountain Laboratories is playing a critical role in our understanding of the coronavirus pandemic. Scientists at the facility are performing vaccine trials, testing therapeutic drugs and researching effective disinfection methods for N95 respirator masks. The laboratory’s role is explained further in this New York Times article.
The new National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases intramural high-containment defense facility is the first new BSL4, BSL3 and BSL2 building to be constructed at the new National Interagency Bio-defense Campus at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland.
The integrated research facility (IRF) was designed to allow scientists to study, develop and test therapeutics for infectious diseases, such as Ebola and Pandemic Influenza, safely and securely.
The video below details many features of the lab, including advanced diagnostic imaging to study research models under biosafety Level 4 conditions. Imaging space spans adjoined pathogen and non-pathogen areas, allowing IRF researchers to review results in real time, without breaching the containment barrier.
U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases
A joint venture of HDR and WSP USA provided architectural and engineering design services for a new replacement facility for the U.S. Biological Defense Research program’s lead facility, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick.
WSP was responsible for planning and architecture for the high-containment laboratories (BSL4, and the BSL3E imaging and aerobiology), as well as planning, architectural and mechanical engineering services in the clinic and logistics areas.
USAMRIID is billed as the “birthplace of medical biodefense research.” The video below details the many achievements and current work of USAMRIID researchers as they study dangerous pathogens and biodefense to protect U.S. service members and enhance scientific research, as well as the new high-performance facility that enables this important work. The new facility houses the largest BSL-4 containment block in the world.