Department of Homeland Security
National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility
Providing safe and secure biosecurity
To address today's potential bio- and agro-terrorism threats, as well as naturally occurring foreign and animal diseases, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) identified the need to enhance their integrated research, development, testing, and evaluation countermeasure program, resulting in the new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF), an integrated foreign animal and zoonotic disease research, development, and testing facility.
The NBAF replaces and expands the Plum Island Animal Disease Center and enhances capabilities to meet mandated national biological and agricultural defense mission requirements of the DHS and the United States Department of Agriculture.
The new building provides modern, safe, and secure biocontainment laboratories of sufficient capacity for operations that include the licensure of animal disease vaccines; defending against high-consequence foreign animal diseases in livestock; and providing the essential infrastructure requirements for threat characterization, forensics, and detection. The agricultural bio-defense efforts will create an integrated and comprehensive system to rapidly recognize and characterize biological agents in animal populations, food, water, agriculture, and the environment.
The NBAF program includes a collection of buildings on one campus supporting the main laboratory – all working together for both safety in operations and bio-surety. The program benefitted from an international peer review team from some of the most significant high containment research institutions around the world to ensure the highest degree of safety as the design was being established.
The entire campus was designed to meet sustainability goals and energy efficiency targets not often realized in high containment programs. This the first large-scale federal biocontainment laboratory facility (BSL-2 through BSL-4) to achieve LEED Gold certification.
Joint Venture partners Flad Architects and Perkins&Will share leadership of the project.