In Manhattan, Kan., the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF), an animal disease research facility, has finished construction. Replacing the 68-year-old Plum Island Animal Disease Center, NBAF, when fully operational, will have labs functioning at multiple biosafety levels—including the nation’s first facility with biosafety level 4 containment capable of housing large livestock.
The 707,000-sf facility has been developed to ensure public health and the safety and security of the nation’s food supply. In 574,000 sf of lab space, scientists will safely study and diagnose high-consequence animal pathogens. In addition, an 87,000-sf utility plant houses boilers, chillers, emergency diesel generators, and other support elements for the main lab facility.
In addition to its state-of-the-art laboratories, NBAF will have a Biologics Development Module to explore potential vaccines, diagnostic platforms, and veterinary medical countermeasures.
With construction complete, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has begun to assume control of NBAF from the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate. This involves confirming laboratory setup and making sure the equipment functions properly. “These are critical initial steps to ensure all research and diagnostics can be accomplished safely and effectively,” Ken Burton, NBAF deputy director, said in a statement.
The preconstruction, construction, and commissioning contract was valued at $1.06 billion. Despite pandemic-related challenges and delays, the project with commissioning came in under the $1.25 billion budget established by federal officials in 2014.
On the Building Team:
Owner/developer: U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, which turned over operational responsibility to U.S. Department of Agriculture
Design architect: Perkins&Will
Architects of record: Perkins&Will and Flad Architects
MEP engineers: Affiliated Engineers, Inc., WSP, and Merrick & Company
Structural engineers: IMEG Corp. and Flad Architects