Moderna Therapeutics New cGMP Clinical Manufacturing Facility Wins ISPE’s Facility of the Future Award

Moderna Therapeutics new cGMP clinical manufacturing facility, completed in July 2018 by Wise Construction, was chosen as a finalist for ISPE’s Facility of the Year Awards (FOYA), and won 2019’s Facility of the Future. 

ISPE’s FOYA is an annual program recognizing projects utilizing new, innovative technologies to improve the quality of products, to reduce the cost of producing high-quality medicines, and demonstrate advances in project delivery.

President John Wise said, “It’s no surprise that Moderna is being recognized for Facility of the Future. They strived to have a digital approach to every aspect of building, including utilizing robotics, automation, and cloud-based programming. Their forward-thinking approach to technology translated throughout construction, and allowed Wise to use the latest technologies and tools to exceed the tight timelines of the project. The entire project team is thrilled to have been a part of Moderna’s award-winning building.”   

Formerly used as a Polaroid plant, Moderna needed Wise to construct the entire facility to house mRNA clinical manufacturing, plasmid manufacturing, Personalized Vaccine Units (PVU) manufacturing, pre-clinical labs, quality control (QC) labs, development labs, warehouse/logistics and maintenance, and plant utilities, as well as all necessary office, amenity, and administration areas. 

To accommodate Moderna’s needs, the facility had to be up and running in a construction schedule of just thirty-three weeks – three to four times faster than a typical project of this size and scope. To achieve this, several lean processes were used throughout the project, and planning was of the upmost importance. The entire project team, including the architect Tria and engineering firm DPS Group, worked closely together to create early release packages to ensure all project milestones were met, and all long-lead items were purchased early on. Before fully mobilizing onsite, extensive existing condition surveys were performed, and all MEP’s were planned early on using a point cloud system. When it came to construction, Wise created a well-scheduled workflow for the project, allowing there to be up to 350 individuals from a range of trades working onsite at the same time. The entire floorplan was broken down into sectors, and each sector was carefully planned to allow multiple subcontractors to work at once. All vendors on the project were required to prefabricate components in their shops, such as ductwork runs, piping racks, electrical devices, shaft risers, and plumbing rough. This approach helped benefit the project by making efficiencies with labor, less waste, better quality control, and faster installation time.

The project team included Moderna, Hereva, DPS Group, TRIA, and Wise Construction. You can learn more about the project and the award here: