Smithsonian Building 1 Bio-Repository


Smithsonian Institution Renovate Building 1 for Bio-Repository at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) Front Royal Virginia 

Meltech recently completed the Smithsonian Institution Renovations to the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) Animal Building 1 Bio-Repository located in Front Royal, Virginia with great success.

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) plays a leading role in the Smithsonian’s global efforts to save wildlife species from extinction and train future generations of conservationists. SCBI spearheads research programs at its headquarters in Front Royal, Virginia, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C., and at field research stations and training sites worldwide. SCBI scientists tackle some of today’s most complex conservation challenges by applying and sharing what they learn about animal behavior and reproduction, ecology, genetics, migration and conservation sustainability.

SCBI scientists study and breed more than 20 species at their headquarters, including those that were once extinct in the wild, like black-footed ferrets and scimitar-horned oryx. Its major research initiatives are organized into five science centers: Conservation Ecology, Conservation and Sustainability, Conservation Genomics, Migratory Birds, and Species Survival. Other initiatives include the Global Tiger Initiative, Virginia Working Landscapes, and the Global Health Program. Their work doesn’t stop at the gates of SCBI. Approximately 250 SCBI scientists and students collaborate with colleagues in more than 25 countries.

Meltech completed this important project for the renovation of Building 1 to create a Bio-Repository and Cryo-Preservation Laboratory for the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. This project was completed on time and within budget. This project was very important to the Smithsonian Conservation Institution mission as it served as the housing facility that collects, processes, stores, and distributes bio specimens to support future scientific investigation, containing or managing specimens from animals, including humans, and many other living organisms for creating a world-class biodiversity preservation program with cell line capability.

The project contract officer had to say this, “THANK YOU ALL for being part of the Great Team that worked together to achieve a project that we are all very proud of.”Marc. M. Muller, Resident Engineer – Smithsonian Operations – Office of Projects, Design and Construction National Zoological Park & Conservation Biology Institute

This work for the Building 1 Bio-Repository renovation included but was not limited to:

  • The renovation/partial demolition, and one-story “hyphen” addition allows for adaptive reuse of existing Building 1 for a cryogenic laboratory and bio-repository.
  • Planned salvage of existing steel roof trusses and clay roof tiles.
  • Demolish existing connector between Buildings 1 and 2 and replace with new larger “hy-phen” connector with support spaces.
  • Opportunity for high-performance components that demonstrate sustainability (rain gar-dens, salvaged and recycled building materials, energy-saving equipment and fixtures).
  • Electrical Work – installed a 500kva 13,200 volt primary to 120/208 volt pad mounted transformer, this feeds a 1200-amp main switchboard by a 4×6”conduit concrete incased ductbank. The building has a 300kva backup generator with a 300kw load bank, and a 1200-amp manual transfer switch to add a portable generator to the system if needed. The generator system connects to the building by a 8 x 6” conduit concrete incased ductbank feeding a 1200-amp switchboard. These two switchboards feed three closed transition automatic transfer switches to provide normal and backup power to most of the building load.