Science & TechnologyUS Army Medical Research Center

US Army : Medical Research CenterUS Army : Medical Research CenterUS Army : Medical Research Center


Sustainable Site: Stormwater runoff is being infiltrated back into the ground using bio-swales in the parking lot; of greater concern was ensuring that site development did not negatively affect the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Water Efficiency: The project achieved a 40 percent reduction in potable water use and a 113 percent reduction in process water use through the use of efficient equipment which minimizes water use and waste water generation. Energy and Atmosphere: The building's potential energy use was tracked during the design phase using an energy model. This information led to changes to the building's systems and cladding systems to help improve the energy efficiency of the project. The project will realize at least a 17.5 percent reduction in energy use resulting in an approximate savings of $704,794 annually. Materials & Resources: Products were specified to have low embodied energy meaning they include recycled materials as well as come from local sources and manufacturers. The design team specified goals for construction waste generation and diversion from landfills as well as the reuse of materials demolished on site for use as temporary construction. Indoor Environmental Quality: Products and finishes were chosen to minimize their impact on indoor environmental quality by limiting the amount of harmful or toxic chemicals used in their production which could be off-gassed after installation. Building materials were evaluated and selected using a Life Cycle Cost Assessment. Indoor lab airflow was analyzed to allow for proper ventilation in rooms regularly occupied by researchers. Site strategies include the elimination of potable water use for irrigation, increasing on-site infiltration and enhancement of existing wetland areas. Building components are clustered to minimize site disruption and oriented for view and to optimize daylighting potential. This project will consolidate the functions of 15 existing buildings. The new laboratory will be used for the development, testing, and evaluation of medical treatments and material to prevent and treat casualties of chemical warfare agents. The blocking and stacking scheme maximize occupant views and daylight. Transparency fosters interaction among occupants The primary driver for the new campus is to create a state-of-the-art research facility that supports scientific research, training, and education, while promoting staff collaboration.

Sustainable safety

Designed to LEED-NC Silver

The mission of the US Army's Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense (USAMRICD) is to develop medical treatments to protect both soldiers on the front lines and ordinary civilians. To respond to chemical attacks and train personnel to minimize casualties. Consolidating ten existing facilities into one, this is one of the Army's largest scientific projects, and the only medical laboratory in the Department of Defense equipped to safely study hazardous chemical agents.

A dramatic design reflects the highly technical investigations conducted within. The state-of-the-art facility supports research, training, and education, and promotes staff collaboration. While it is protecting the general population, the Army is also protecting the environment by incorporating the tenets of sustainable design in order to earn a LEED Silver rating. 

Location: Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland


"It was facinating to work on such a complex project - gathering together a diverse group of military and civilian researchers. The importance of the faciliy's mission - to protect populations from chemical weapons and to train first responders - was reflected in the development of sophisticated environments while maintaining an open and welcoming atmosphere."

 Rachel NelanAIA, LEED AP, PrincipalFlad Architects