U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Building 503 BSL-3 Laboratory Renovation

Silver Spring, MD

Project Synopsis

This renovation of an existing laboratory within the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) was required to meet current Biosafety Level 3 standards as designated by the BMBL, 5th edition, and other applicable criteria such as NIH/CDC and Department of Defense. The work included suite envelope improvements to ensure airtight/leak tight construction including new wall, floor and ceiling finishes, refurbished casework, new autoclave, decontamination ports, replacement of all electrical devices with cast back boxes and sealed conduit, as well as upgrades to HVAC, fire protection and lighting systems.

Exterior windows were removed, and openings blocked to match existing masonry construction. Ceiling and walls were reinforced, finishes were replaced with FRP construction and reinforced to resist loads imposed by potential hyper-negative air pressure differential. Epoxy floor finish was applied. New autoclave included an air-tight bio-seal. All electrical and piping penetrations were upgraded to be fully sealed.

The design was conducted in two phases. Phase 1 consisted of a detailed site analysis that identified existing as-built conditions and recommended corrective actions needed to meet current standards. Phase 2 included complete construction documentation.

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