The Fort Detrick chiller replacement and new chiller plant design-build project included the demolition and subsequent replacement of an existing chiller plant for the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. To complete the mission-critical project, the team faced strict security requirements and worked within a tight location. Two ongoing and concurrent construction projects were located adjacent to the chiller project.

The chiller job included extensive work in the facility's interstitial spaces and its penthouse, which were located directly above fully operational, high-containment laboratories.

Turner, the general contractor, recorded daily safety inspections and tracked corrective actions for all non-compliant items using software that measures trends in subcontractor performance. That strategy allowed the project team to identify negative trends and proactively deal with them before they became actual issues in the field.

Because of the building's small footprint, safety was a major consideration when scheduling work to ensure there was no stacking of trades. Just-in-time materials deliveries and prefabrication were used to limit congestion and reduce clutter. That process created more free space for safe access to work areas.

The team's safety solutions helped it achieve zero recordable incidents and no lost-time accidents on-site, ensuring that all workers went home safely each day.


Fort Detrick Chiller Replacement and New Chiller Plant, Frederick, Md.

Key Players


Design Firm Liberty Engineering

General Contractor Turner Construction Co.

Architect Studio 50 Design LLC

Structural Engineer ADTEK Engineers

Civil Engineer ADTEK Engineers

Electrical Engineer Spears Engineering

Mechanical/Plumbing W.E. Bowers & Associates

Electrical Power Solutions

Precast Concrete The Shockey Precast Group

Steel/Misc. Metals Superior Iron Works

Excavation, Sitework, Demolition, General Trades Callas Contractors

Roofing Prospect Waterproofing Co.

Concrete The Bartley Corp.

Fire Sprinkler American Fire Protection