FDA Center for Drug Evaluation & Research

Improving the Health of Our Citizens
The Clark team was instrumental in delivering a complex and architecturally challenging office building for a very demanding client [CDER]. Additionally, senior management remained involved throughout every stage of construction, ensuring the project team had access to the necessary resources to build a quality project.
Shapour Ebadi, Director - Office of Infrastructure and Campus Development, GSA
White Oak, Maryland
General Services Administration
330,000 Square Feet
Year Completed: 

Clark led the construction of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research II (CDER II). The project is part of a master plan to consolidate the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) laboratory and office facilities on their White Oak campus. The active business campus required Clark to coordinate on-going campus activities, and other of contractors on campus.

The primarily concrete, six-story, 330,000 square-foot CDER II structure is divided into two wings, which are connected by a six-story, open atrium adorned with glass and metal panels. Located within the atrium are the security office, a central reception area, conference center, and coffee bar. The balance of the building contains office space with typical floors featuring raised-access flooring to accommodate a unique under-floor air distribution (UFAD) system.

The UFAD allows raised flooring which creates flexibility of space and dramatically increases the amount of natural light in the building. Although the new building has the same number of floors as the original CDER building, ceiling heights can vary throughout the vertical structure. This allows large glass windows to stretch vertically and allow in more light, a major intention of the design. Sunlight floods perimeter offices and spills into interior offices while the narrow corridors created by the UFAD maximize natural light.


The GSA and FDA wanted to incorporate sustainable elements into the design and construction of CDER2. Clark worked with the agencies to identify and evaluate potential elements to reduce the building’s footprints, benefit occupant health and well being, maintain low costs, and adhere to both agencies overall visions. Sustainable design features incorporated include increased natural lighting, sun-shade devices, and an efficient, raised-floor pressurized plenum ventilation system. Other features include economizer cycles, high-efficiency lighting, low-flow plumbing fixtures, planted bio-filtration areas to manage storm run-off, and building commissioning. The energy for the building is supplied by an on-site central utility plant.