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 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, which anticipates NIST facilities needs through 2020 and beyond, lists planned and possible future additions and improvements to the Gaithersburg campus; their actual implementation will depend upon available resources in the NIST 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.
In all, the Master Plan describes new construction projects totaling more than 10,000 square meters (100,000 square feet), including a new NIST child care facility designed to accommodate 154 children, a robotics research and development facility, a consolidated fire and police emergency services facility to replace outdated facilities, a National Structural Fire Research Laboratory for research on new fire-resistant materials and structures, and a Net-Zero Energy Residential Building to study state-of-the-art residential-building components and energy conservation technologies.
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. 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.
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.
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.
For more details, see "NIST Submits Updated Master Plan for Gaithersburg Campus."