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USGS National Wildlife Health Center Master Plan & Space Planning Modernization Study

Project Information


United States Geological Survey, National Wildlife Health Center


Madison, WI


65,521 SF


Civic & Governmental


Master Planning



Executive Vice President | Project Director

Assoc. AIA

Senior Architectural Designer


Executive Vice President | Chief Operations Officer

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In Modernization

In support of USGS goals, Strang was contracted to study the feasibility of consolidating the various USGS entities and programs in the Madison, Wisconsin area onto property already owned by the USGS and currently occupied by the National Wildlife Health Center (NWSHC). The Strang team reviewed and validated the National Wildlife Health Center modernization study while developing multiple approaches for their space planning program over the next 10-15 years.

The key goals of the USGS Madison Consolidation Feasibility Study were to:


Phased Planning

Strang has a longstanding relationship with USGS and has been providing guidance on their space planning for over a decade. Strang used planning tools, including guided discussions and workshops to generate three phasing scenario concepts for review and approval by the USGS’s science and facilities staff. This modernization study is intended to supplement the 2016 Master Plan. This study addresses the NWHC’s concerns for providing a complete program and concept design that will meet all campus planning objectives including, but not limited to site utilities capacities, design, parking, vehicle and pedestrian flow, service access, secured access, and storm water management.

Phasing and planning options were developed to assure no adverse impact to ongoing operations, including site utilities and access to, from, and between all facilities. The first phase starts in the current parking lot, nearest to the existing buildings. This allows subsequent construction traffic to be concentrated away from NWHC operations. As the team developed project cost estimates to best suit the phasing needs and funding constraints, the three phased approaches provide USGS and the NWHC with options in selecting a path forward that meets their current need while aligning with funding opportunities.

The space planning study will help USGS and NWHC focus on right sizing the various spaces. The number of labs and holding rooms and the sizes of each have been adjusted based on anticipated program needs. Two major deviations from the previous program were identified. This includes the reclassification of many labs from BSL-3 to BSL-2. The site has been able to push more of the work out of the BSL-3 spaces. To protect against a reversing of this trend and being faced with too little high containment labs, some BSL-2 labs and support spaces were identified to be configured and detailed for conversion to BSL-3. The updated program requirements provide an appropriate increase to the operational area of the NWHC, expanding research capabilities, and verifying ongoing compliance with containment regulations. The program has more flexible lab space and expansion of diagnostic facilities. This space planning study will take USGC through to the next 10-15 years.