The two-story Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics’ new Quality Control Laboratory and Administration Building is located at the company’s newly developed 167-acre campus in Holly Springs, N.C.

Photo Courtesy BE&K Building Group
Photo Courtesy BE&K Building Group

The building is a part of the nation’s first ever cell culture-derived influenza vaccines manufacturing complex, which will enable domestic production of cell culture-derived influenza vaccines. Production is anticipated to begin in 2012.

Influenza cell culture vaccine production increases flexibility and provides for faster start-up of vaccine manufacturing than the traditional egg-based vaccine production.

General contractor BE&K Building Group began work on the project, which includes 30,000-sq-ft of critical quality control laboratories, in November 2007 and completed it two years later without a lost time incident.

Laboratory areas include functional-but-attractive epoxy counters, wood casework and epoxy floor systems. The biosafety level-2 labs are designed for easy conversion to level-3 labs.

A metal spiral staircase, adorned with architectural glass rails and beech wood treads, serves as a focal point of the two-story entrance. Surrounding the stair on the ground level is a terrazzo floor system that complements the high-tech feel of the space.

Five air handlers, one of which is a once-through air unit dedicated to the lab wing, serve the building. Air filtration in the lab areas is handled in part by centralized HEPA cabinets located in a third-floor mechanical penthouse that greatly aids serviceability and maintenance.

The balance of the building employs a more conventional plenum return air system coupled with smaller exhaust systems typical to restrooms and kitchen serving areas. All utilities—including electrical, heating of hot water, steam and chilled water—are fed from a central utilities building that serves all current and future facilities planned for the Novartis campus.

Novartis expects the facility to product 50 million doses of seasonal influenza vaccine annually, with a surge capacity of up to 150 million doses within six months of a pandemic declaration.

Key Players

Owner: Novartis Vaccines and Diagnosticss
Contractors: BE&K Building Group, Jacobs Field Services North America
Architect: Flad and Associates
Engineers: Flad and Associates, Affiliated Engineers, Bass, Nixon & Kennedy