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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Physical Plant

Chizo Irechukwu
Supervisory Project Manager
Beltsville Agricultural Research Center
10300 Baltimore Ave.
Bldg. 426, BARC-East
Beltsville, MD 20705
Chizo.Irechukwu@ars.usda.gov
Phone: 301-504-8025
Fax: 301-504-6008

Administrative Support
Carol Appelbaum
Secretary
Carol.Appelbaum@ars.usda.gov
Sandy Martin
Support Services Assistant
Sandy.Martin@ars.usda.gov

Work Operations Unit Service Desk
E-mail: ARS-BA-FMS@ars.usda.gov
Voice: 301-504-8319

The Physical Plant Management Office is responsible for the operation and maintenance of all buildings and grounds on the BARC campus. This office provides supervision and oversight for the efficient operation of 6 units within the Physical Plant: Engineering and Construction Branch, External Services Branch, Work Management Office, Plant Maintenance Branch, Building Maintenance Branch, and Systems Maintenance Branch.

The Physical Plant motto is "Keeping Research in Motion."
  • Building Maintenance Branch manages building maintenance and repairs of over 308 active buildings within the Beltsville Area. Their responsibilities include high and low voltage electrical repairs such as installation and maintenance of switches, relays and outlets. They maintain and install transformers and the substations. The branch is responsible for painting and refurbishing interior and exterior surfaces; plumbing and pipefitting, which includes repair of main water lines, installation and repair of building and greenhouse plumbing, and maintaining radiators. They perform brick, block and stone laying for the repair and maintenance of masonry structures. They respond to calls involving roof leaks. Locksmith services, which include repair and maintenance of locking devices, also are provided by this branch.

  • The Engineering and Construction Branch provides planning, design, inspection, cartography, and construction management services. They manage several service contracts (building automation system, generator maintenance, chillers, autoclaves, fire alarms, elevators, reverse osmosis pure water systems, refuse/trash, gate systems, janitorial, and mail). In addition, they monitor energy consumption and develop energy conservation measures, which include building metering, occupancy sensors and demand response. This branch also oversees generator installation and maintenance, building demolition, asbestos abatement, and road repair and maintenance.

  • External Services Branch responsibilities include landscaping and grounds maintenance, wildlife and pests management, and automotive and equipment repairs for all Facilities Services vehicles and motorized equipment. They take care of the lawn and landscape maintenance of over 3,000 acres, which includes planting, cutting, watering, and seeding. Grounds maintenance also involves removing downed trees due to inclement weather, paving, grading and surface leveling. Wildlife and pests management involves trapping groundhogs, raccoons, squirrels, removing dead deer on the roads, and any animals that may be found in buildings. The branch also is responsible for the managed hunt program at BARC that runs from September 1st to January 31st every year.

  • The Plant Maintenance Branch (PMB) is responsible for maintaining and repairing the boilers and associated equipment in the steam production facilities, as well as the stand-alone smaller boilers and furnaces on the east and west sides of BARC. These are essential duties dedicated to keeping our buildings warm during the cold season. Additionally, the branch provides steam for autoclaves and hot water production. PMB is responsible for monitoring the building automation system and equipment temperature and substation electrical outages. The after-hours monitoring station is operated 24/7 and, in the event of an emergency in any building or with any refrigeration equipment, the monitoring station receives alarms and is able to contact the technician on call to fix the problem. PMB monitors the fuel systems for gas and diesel for BARC equipment and vehicles. In the event of a power outage when the generators start up to provide backup power, this branch refuels them and maintains them in a state of readiness. PMB maintains the two waste water treatment facilities, located on the east and west side of BARC. Lastly, PMB operates and maintains the potable water treatment system that provides water for the entire complex, which is used for drinking and watering plants and animals.

  • The Systems Maintenance Branch manages heating, cooling, the building automation system, security door entrance air phone repairs, refrigeration and fume Hoods. They calibrate, change fume hood belts and motors. They are responsible for replacing fans, temperature sensors, compressors and evaporators in growth chambers and incubators. They monitor and maintain temperature and humidity levels in buildings and research equipment. The branch is responsible for the repair and installation of cooling units, maintenance and repair air handler units, cooling towers and chillers.

  • The Work Management Office manages the Work Order Ticket Generation System, which includes facilities related problems that are generated from calls made from all buildings in the Beltsville Area, work order status updates, and conference room scheduling and setup. This office also is responsible for personal property, which includes, conducting bi-annual inventories, managing surplus disposal, property transfers, fleet card processing and vehicle mileage reporting.

Last Modified: 5/20/2014
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