Jon Ellen, Vice President, DAVIS
Our team’s work with the NIST NCCoE demonstrates our ability to take an existing building—built two decades ago—and upgrade it to meet the highly sensitive needs of today’s leaders in cybersecurity.
With our roots deeply planted in Rockville, MD, the opportunity to start a relationship with the Maryland Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO) was one we embraced with open arms. The project at-hand was a unique one—transform a dated, 20-year-old science lab into a modern, highly secure data lab for the National Institute of Standards and Technology - National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NIST NCCoE). The resulting space would not only convert and modernize the former lab; it would also allow NIST NCCoE to consolidate their cybersecurity unit from dispersed satellite offices to work together under one (newly repaired) roof.
Powering the Information
Cybersecurity is an increasingly sophisticated practice, facing increasingly sophisticated threats. That said, the 20-year-old building needed significant enhancements in order to meet modern-day challenges. To answer that need, 6,000-SF of the 60,000-SF renovation was built to be a dry lab, stacked with more than 100 electric floor boxes to accommodate massive stretches of data and monitoring equipment. This made for extremely dense conditions as we installed more floor boxes per square foot than our team had ever installed in a single space. After trenching, we created an intricate grid of floor boxes within the existing slab of flooring and infilled each box with concrete.
To ensure continuous and dependable access to power, we added a robust wire-mold system. We then updated the power distribution center, updating the wiring to the existing back-up generator and adding a secondary back-up generator. Finally, we ensured the equipment—and data—would be protected from heat and humidity by upgrading both the roof insulation and roof membrane, and installing a new, highly efficient HVAC system.
Safe From the Inside Out
The new NIST NCCoE space is uniquely built to hold vehicles for cybersecurity testing inside the building. To accommodate this service, we installed an exterior roll-up door leading to two testing rooms surrounded by masonry walls. The interconnected rooms, which can combine to make one large room, tie directly into its own air-handling unit, allowing engine exhaust to be removed safely from the building while the vehicles are inside.
Centralizing for Expansion
This new facility expands the center’s workspace from four buildings to 22 separate, flexible laboratories—including dry labs, demo labs, use-case labs, and vehicle labs. For NIST NCCoE, this new space is set to not only secure significant amounts of data, but it also allows them to increase their collaborations and take on new accounts. For DAVIS, this project perfectly showcases the technical and mission critical expertise of our teams.
Photos by Thomas Holdsworth