GAITHERSBURG, Md.—Planned and potential expansions and new facilities across campus, the addition of 400-500 kilowatts in power from solar panels, and increasing already heavy employee use of alternative transportation to a daily rate of 40 percent are among the highlights of an updated Master Plan for the Gaithersburg, Md., campus of the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). NIST has delivered its plan to the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC), the central planning agency for federal land and buildings in the National Capital Region.
The document lists planned and possible future additions and improvements to the Gaithersburg campus; their actual implementation will depend upon available resources in the NIST budget. Several projects, however, are already funded explicitly by the Congressionally approved NIST spending plan for its construction funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), as well as NIST's approved spending plan for its Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 operating budget.
Detailing both planned and potential new buildings and additions to be constructed on the agency's 235-hectare (580-acre) Gaithersburg campus, as well as a host of energy, environmental and transportation improvements, the plan is the first major NIST facilities update since the 1990s and is designed to meet current NCPC requirements.
The Master Plan anticipates NIST facilities needs through 2020 and beyond. It serves as both the vision and physical framework for developing and improving the Gaithersburg site by incorporating currently planned projects as well as potential future improvements. In accordance with NCPC guidelines, NIST will review the Master Plan on a periodic basis to ensure that it remains current and will keep NCPC informed of needed updates.
"The Master Plan is not a static document, but a living one that will be adaptable to NIST's future needs," says Stella Fiotes, NIST's Chief Facilities Management Officer. "It is a roadmap to advance our research mission, support federal initiatives on energy conservation and sustainability, and improve the workplace environment while maintaining our efforts to be good citizens of the City of Gaithersburg and Montgomery County."
Built in the early 1960s, the NIST-Gaithersburg campus now includes 55 buildings, with approximately 3,600 employees, guest researchers and contractors on campus during an average workday. An average of 546 visitors comes to the NIST Gaithersburg campus every day.
In all, the Master Plan describes new construction projects totaling more than 10,000 square meters (100,000 square feet), including:
"The funding from the Recovery Act will create many construction-related jobs," says NIST Deputy Director Patrick Gallagher, "and our improved infrastructure will significantly help us maintain U.S. leadership in innovation and industrial competitiveness."
The plan also proposes additions to existing NIST buildings, as well as renovations to NIST general purpose laboratories, some of which are more than 40 years old, to bring them in line with present-day scientific needs. The Master Plan does not anticipate any net increase in NIST employment resulting from the proposed expansions and additions.
The Master Plan also initiates and continues a host of energy and environmental improvements on campus, including the installation of photovoltaic solar panels that deliver 400-500 kilowatts (kW) of power on campus to supplement NIST's existing 28 kW system; replacing energy-leaking windows and installing wall insulation in many older NIST buildings; and replacing obsolete laboratory chemical fume hoods with modern, energy-efficient hoods.
The Master Plan also proposes transportation improvements and incentives aiming to reach goals that include:
NCPC will distribute the plan to multiple agencies, including the City of Gaithersburg and Montgomery County government, for their input, and an NCPC commission will review and consider a finalized version of the plan at a Dec. 3 meeting.
As a non-regulatory agency, NIST advances measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.