HERA programs the most advanced high containment laboratory in the nation

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is building a new 160,000-sf multi-story High Containment Continuity Laboratory (HCCL) on its Roybal Campus in Atlanta. The multi-story research building will increase the CDC’s research capacity to sustain its diagnostic mission and support its public health mission. The agency helps communities prepare for, detect, and respond to, public health consequences of all hazards. The HCCL building will be a Biosafety Level-4 (BSL-4) facility, a designation reserved for the highest level of biological safety. It will accommodate approximately 80 laboratory researchers.

The new facility, which is part of CDC’s 2025 Masterplan, is currently in design. Construction is planned to begin in early 2021. The HCCL will be one of just three facilities in the world certified to facilitate diagnostic research on select viruses.

As a BSL-4 laboratory, the new facility will feature high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtered supply and exhaust air, air pressure resistant doors, pressure cascade zoning, effluent collection and treatment, and pressure decay tested coatings and penetrations. Other features include high purity breathing air and chemical decontamination showers for research staff. Connections to the existing Roybal campus utility systems happen through below grade utility tunnels and a two-level bridge connection.

HERA laboratory planners joins Flad Architects, Page Southerland Page and WSP on the programming, planning and design team. McCarthy Building Companies is serving as Construction Manager as contractor (CMc).


Fast Company writes about how labs such as this one could prevent the next pandemic