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. 


  • Hamilton, Montana, USA

Project Status

  • Completed in 2008

Enhancing Flexibility

The facility is a strategic component for the NIH Intramural Biodefense Agenda as it includes BSL4, BSL3 and BSL2 containment laboratories designed specifically for research. The highly secure enhanced containment capacity enables research teams to study pathogens defined as Category A, B, or C agents by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

The WSP USA team developed new planning models based on the concepts of dynamic interdisciplinary research teams, containment core support services, and the new FDA Two Animal Rule as new drivers in containment facility planning specific to the biodefense research agenda. The result provides greatly enhanced flexibility in laboratory programming, increased utilization and adaptability of animal modeling capability, and more efficient staffing models to support the high containment research program.

The three-story research laboratory includes 34,600 square feet net area dedicated to research, which includes a 16,000 gross square foot high containment floor of BSL4 and BSL3Ag laboratories, BSL4 animal holding rooms, insectary, aerobiology suites, and a future imaging suite. Support areas include BSL3, BSL2, administration training facilities, and non-human primates quarantine suites. The Integrated Research Facility incorporated an existing BSL3 facility to create a single secure facility sharing loading docks and cage wash facilities. Infrastructure support facilities houses new boilers, chillers and emergency generators.