The US Army has announced intentions to award a contract to Exponent, Inc. for testing and assessment of the special biosafety coating systems at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease (USAMRIID) Replacement construction project.
The contract requires specific engineering tests on the existing USAMRIID Biosafety Level 4 (BSL4) coating products, including flammability testing, review of the current design, and conduct of a risk and hazard analysis.
The tests will help to determine if the existing wall coatings should be used in the completed facility, or removed and replaced with another system. The duration of the contract services is 120 days.
USAMRIID is the U.S Army’s main institution and facility for defensive research into countermeasures against biological warfare. It is located on Fort Detrick, Maryland and is a subordinate lab of the U. S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC), headquartered on the same installation. USAMRIID is the only U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) laboratory equipped to study highly hazardous viruses at BSL4.
The project is the largest, most complex biocontainment facility constructed and significantly decompresses and increases USAMRIID’s biomedical laboratory and vivarium research capabilities. This facility, when complete, will facilitate USAMRIID’s mission: to conduct basic and applied medical research resulting in vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostic tools to protect military service members and the American public.
“The proposed contractor, Exponent, Inc. is a world-renowned engineering and scientific consultant. It is very familiar with all the type of coatings associated with the USAMRIID laboratories,” states the announcement. “Their knowledge of the prescribed coatings and their ability to rapidly respond makes them the most appropriate contractor for this action.”