Press Release: 07.09.2020

McCarthy to Build Most Advanced High Containment Lab in Nation for CDC

CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) sign

McCarthy has built more than 25 percent of the biosafety level 4 facilities in U.S., including more than 50 percent of the gross square feet

McCarthy has been chosen as Construction Manager as constructor (CMc) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for a new High Containment Continuity Laboratory (HCCL) at the Roybal Campus in Atlanta. The new facility is part of CDC’s 2025 Masterplan that was finalized well before COVID-19.

The new 160,000-square-foot, multi-story research building will increase the CDC's research capacity to sustain its diagnostic mission and support its public health mission by helping communities prepare for, detect and respond to consequences of all public health hazards.  The High Containment Continuity Laboratory (HCCL) building will be a Biosafety Level-4 (BSL-4) facility, a designation reserved for the highest level of biological safety, and it will accommodate approximately 80 laboratory researchers.

“For the past two decades, McCarthy has been the premier high containment laboratory builder in the nation, and we are thrilled to have been chosen to build this new addition to the expanding CDC Roybal campus,” said Bobby Campbell, executive vice president of McCarthy in Atlanta. “McCarthy has constructed the majority of the BSL-4 laboratory space in the United States, including the completion of the BSL-4 Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory on this campus 15 years ago. We are looking forward to bringing our experience full circle back to the CDC to build an efficient, functional, and technologically advanced research laboratory.”

The new facility, which is part of CDC’s 2025 Masterplan, currently is in the preconstruction/design phase with construction planned to begin in early 2021. Post completion, the HCCL will be one of three facilities in the world designed and certified to facilitate diagnostic research on specific, select viruses.

As a BSL-4 laboratory, the new facility will feature high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtered supply and exhaust air, air pressure resistant doors, pressure cascade zoning, effluent collection and treatment, and pressure decay tested coatings and penetrations, as well as high purity breathing air and chemical decontamination showers for research staff.  In addition, there will be connections to the existing Roybal campus utility systems with below grade utility tunnels and a two-level bridge connection.

As a leader for the past two decades in constructing facilities that conduct research related to infectious diseases, biological agents, and other sensitive scientific and medical research facilities, McCarthy Building Companies has built more than 25 percent of the BSL-4 facilities in the United States, including more than 50 percent of the gross square feet. In addition to the CDC, McCarthy’s biosafety projects have included Boston University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Ames, Iowa and Manhattan, Kansas.

The CDC has selected Flad Architects, Page Southerland Page, and WSP to plan, program, and design the HCCL. With extensive knowledge and experience in biosafety projects, both Flad and McCarthy are also currently working together on the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) in Manhattan, Kansas, the only BSL-4 large animal facility in the nation.

About McCarthy

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is the oldest privately held national construction company in the country – with more than 150 years spent collaborating with partners to solve complex building challenges on behalf of its clients. Repeatedly honored as a Best Place to Work and Healthiest Employer, McCarthy is ranked the 12th largest domestic builder (Engineering News-Record, May 2019) and has been building in the science and technology market for more than 50 years. This resume of experience includes: research facilities; life sciences; nanotechnology; pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical processing; data centers; high containment labs (BSL-3, BSL-4 and Potent Compound); cleanrooms; agri-business; and biomedical facilities. With approximately 3,700 salaried employees and craft professionals, the firm has offices in St. Louis, Atlanta; Collinsville, Ill.; Kansas City, Kan.; Omaha, Neb.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; Denver; Dallas, Houston; and San Diego, Newport Beach, San Francisco, San Jose and Sacramento, Calif. McCarthy is 100 percent employee owned. More information about the company is available online at or by following the company on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

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