NIST Advanced Measurement Laboratory

Minimizing Variations in Environmental Conditions
Our largest and most complex laboratory project to date was built professionally, delivered on schedule and budget, and received with overwhelming success.
Robert Moore, Program Director, NIST
Location: 
Gaithersburg, Maryland
Client: 
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Contract Value: 
$183,000,000
Size: 
525,000 Square Feet
Year Completed: 
2003
Sector: 

The Advanced Measurement Laboratory (AML) for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) features stringent controls on particulate matter, temperature, vibration and humidity. The facility houses the agency’s most advanced metrology, physics, chemistry, electronics, engineering and materials science research. Completed in 2003, the AML complex has few equals among the world’s research facilities.

The NIST AML consists of five sections: two single-floor metrology laboratory sections below ground with 145 modules (for improved vibration isolation and temperature control); two single-floor instrument laboratory sections above ground with 187 modules; and one clean room wing above ground. Specialty areas include 48 precision temperature control laboratories (with temperature control ranging from +/-0.1 degrees Celsius to +/-0.01 degrees Celsius) and 27 extremely low-vibration laboratories.

Characteristics are uniform throughout the research facility, including strict laboratory air cleanliness assured by HEPA filtration; a baseline temperature control of +/-0.25 degree Celsius; mechanical, electrical, and structural systems designed to minimize vibration; and a power system rated for critical electronic loads and power “cleanliness.” To maximize flexibility and cleanliness, mechanical services as well as laboratory support equipment are provided through service corridors located between laboratory modules.

In the 48 precision temperature control laboratories, the temperature is within +/-0.01 degree Celsius. Humidity varies no more than one percent in specialized areas and five percent throughout the rest of the facility. The AML was built to achieve as low as 100 micro-inch per second vibration control and cleanrooms contain three classifications of particulate levels. 

Awards: 
AGC of DC - Award of Merit
Building Design & Construction Magazine's Building Team Award
R&D Magazine's Lab of the Year - Special Recognition
Mid-Atlantic Construction Magazine's Project of the Year
NAIOP Maryland/D.C. Chapter - Best Biotech Merit Award
WBC Craftsmanship Award - Electrical Distribution Systems
WBC Craftsmanship Award - Fire Alarm System
WBC Craftsmanship Award - Mechanical/HVAC Piping
WBC Craftsmanship Award - Mechanical/HVAC Sheet Metal
WBC Craftsmanship Award - Mechanical/Plumbing
WBC Craftsmanship Award - Curtain Walls