With Construction Complete, The NBAF Facility Wins The Best Project Award 

Manhattan, Kansas – With construction completed, and the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) commissioned, it was nominated and won the “Best Project, Government/Public Building” award from Engineering News-Record (ENR) Midwest. This distinction was announced by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T). 

The “Best Project” award received 63 submissions. After narrowing the nominees to 15, the NBAF construction project received the award in recognition of its “outstanding quality of work, innovative ideas, and significant challenges overcome.”

Construction of First Biocontainment Laboratory

Dr. Dimitri Kusnezov, DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology, stated that because of NBAF, S&T was able to build the first one-of-a-kind, advanced biocontainment laboratory. The laboratory is dedicated to researching life threatening diseases impacting human health and the animal agricultural industry. Work done at the laboratory will include researching and developing vaccines, conducting diagnostic testing, and training researchers and veterinarians to recognize the signs of foreign animal diseases in livestock.  

The NBAF project contains the first maximum biocontainment space in the United States that will host large animals and will provide areas for vaccine development and animal disease diagnostics. S&T designed the laboratory, making it the first and only large scale federal biocontainment laboratory facility in the country to obtain LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Timothy Barr, NBAF Program Manager is thankful for the award. “The collaboration of S&T’s oversight staff with our construction and design partners resulted in a state-of-the-art facility that meets current and future mission needs” Barr said. Barr acknowledged the challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic however, the construction project was able to be completed under the budget. 

Construction and Design

A joint venture, McCarthy/Mortenson, provided construction management services to NBAF. NBAF Design Partnership supplied design services alongside Affiliated Engineers, Inc., Flad Architects, Perkins & Will, Merrick & Company, and WSP.

S&T led the construction, design, and commissioning of NBAF. The U.S. Department of Agriculture will serve to own, manage, and operate the facility. The NBAF project is a 700,000 square foot site which will eventually replace the S&T Plum Island Animal Disease Center located in New York.

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held in May 2023 at the NBAF site in Manhattan, Kansas. USDA hosted the event in celebration of the completion of $1.25 billion facility.

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