USDA Kearneysville Growth Chambers
The existing building was constructed in the late 1970’s or early 1980’s and is comprised of approximately 59,000 SF including office, administrative, laboratory, support, mechanical, shop and greenhouse spaces. The existing project area includes large walk in cold boxes and six free-standing growth chambers of varying sizes. All of the existing chambers and cold boxes fail to meet current temperature control, lighting and humidity requirements. The team determined that all of the units were in need of replacement.
The design intent was to divide one existing large open area housing the existing chambers into two areas. One area would become an enclosed space housing 21 new reach-in chambers of various sizes. The other space would house six new cold chambers, two walk-in freezers, two low temperature boxes and five tall growth chambers are being provided in this space. Each chamber box was designed to meet the scientific research needs of the users. The project was phased to accommodate the USDA’s need for uninterrupted research and also to budget limitations. The option selected removed the chambers in sequential order starting at one end of the space and progressively removing and replacing equipment and upgrading utilities in approximately three phases. This approach is well-suited to allowing uninterrupted ongoing research as well as preparing for future research activities.