• LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Facebook

Centers for Disease Control Emerging Infectious Disease Building

This BSL4 laboratory facility is located at the home of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. The flagship Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory supports the critical work of the Department of Health and Human Services to protect the nation from infectious disease and to contribute to global scientific knowledge and advancement.


WSP USA, as the high containment consultant, was responsible for the design, documentation and construction administration services of the high containment portions (BSL4 and BSL3E) located in Building 18.  An accelerated design and construction schedule enabled construction to commence one year after programming started. Building on a depth of past laboratory design experience, WSP conceived, tested and implemented several design and technical innovations to maximize scientific program efficiency.

The project provided WSP with the opportunity to apply several new technologies and many original integrated design and engineering features on an accelerated schedule to keep pace with program needs. The result, the premier biocontainment facility of its kind in the world today, has guided the design of future laboratories around the world. 

These included planning innovations, such as flexible animal holding, multiple combinations of BSL3 and BSL4 modules, and shared specimen support space. Expedited mock-ups, more efficient coordination of documents, and BSL4 parametric cost modeling to estimate costs of future laboratories were also among the innovations of the project delivery process. Technical innovations include the use of optical scanners with suits, integrated lightweight air pressure resistant doors, mist spray chemical shower nozzles, integrated service delivery chases (organization of services to minimize penetrations and allow access for repair or maintenance), effluent treatment integral with autoclaves, a scuba compressor breathing air backup system, and visual display messaging boards.