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Safety, Capacity, Maintenance, and Major Repair

Corroding, leaking, 40-year-old mechanical equipment in a NIST mechanical room support space.

Corroding, leaking, 40-year-old mechanical equipment in a NIST mechanical room support space.

Credit: NIST

NIST maintains two primary sites, Gaithersburg, Md., and Boulder, Colo., plus smaller sites, including time-service radio stations in Ft. Collins, Colo., and Kauai, Hawaii.

NIST currently has a deferred maintenance backlog of about $500 million. Many NIST facilities are equipped with 40- to 50-year-old systems that lack sufficient capacity and operate inefficiently. If completed, many major repair projects, such as replacing the outdated HVAC systems that serve most buildings on both sites, would result in substantial energy and operational cost savings.

Substandard power supplies and inadequate controls of humidity, temperature, air quality, and other environmental variables are pervasive problems in laboratory buildings on both the Gaithersburg and Boulder sites. Such deficiencies seriously undermine basic measurement research and impose additional burdens on resources and personnel.

Increased funding for the Safety, Capacity, Maintenance, and Major Repair (SCMMR) Program will allow NIST to begin to address this backlog. Improvements to be undertaken under the proposed FY 2010 base program include:

  • Continue repairing and upgrading facilities that have a high impact on staff and visitor safety;
  • Continue abatement of hazardous materials from site buildings and structures;
  • Modify additional sites to comply with the Access to Federal Buildings Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act;
  • Continue repairing or replacing aging utility systems, exhaust and air filtration systems, mechanical-electrical systems, and site alarm fire safety systems, which are failing at an accelerated rate;
  • Continue architectural, structural, and energy-conservation-related repairs;
  • Continue improvements to site infrastructure, including roads, loading docks, pedestrian walk areas, and storm water drainage; and
  • Continue improving building environmental conditions to levels required for scientific research.


Recent SCMMR Appropriations and FY 2010 Request (Millions of Dollars)

FY 2003FY 2004FY 2005FY 2006FY 2007FY 2008FY 2009FY 2010
Created August 18, 2009, Updated January 3, 2017