GADepPublicHealth5In engineering, a project’s square footage doesn’t always indicate its complexity. Small, key environments like data centers, laboratories, and clean rooms often require incredibly detailed design work to achieve necessary outcomes. Our work for the Georgia Department of Public Health in Decatur, Georgia, is a prime example of this type of small-scale, complex project.

The Georgia Department of Public Health Laboratory provides both clinical and non-clinical laboratory services, including screenings and various types of testing for county health departments, public health clinics, hospitals, and state agencies. Facility staff also perform sample testing for emergency preparedness against biological and chemical threats, with various units focusing on specific fields like molecular biology, bacteriology, microbial immunology, parasitology, and virology—major players in public health and safety.

When leadership decided that they needed to improve the energy and operational efficiency of two biosafety labs in the facility, they approached Salas O’Brien for help. Because these labs are used for analysis and testing of important medical samples and potentially hazardous materials, each must meet stringent biosafety compliance regulations and safeguards. Balancing these considerations with leadership’s efficiency goals as well as occupant comfort is no simple task in this type of environment, but our engineers rose to the challenge.

Salas O’Brien provided existing building commissioning (EBCx) services that uncovered multiple areas for improvements to increase the labs’ energy and operational efficiency. In addition, our team’s mechanical, electrical, and plumbing design services helped make those improvements a reality while balancing the need for occupant comfort and safety. Thanks to our team’s work, the owners achieved their efficiency goals, and the biosafety labs are operating better than ever.