When the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) 922,000 square foot headquarters complex in Woodlawn, MD was completed and occupied in 1995, it had abundant space. As programs changed and new programs were added, the agency and its operations reconfigured existing space and in many cases added space. Often the components had employees scattered around the building because there was inadequate contiguous space available. By the end of 2008, the CMS had nearly filled the headquarters complex and had leased an additional 115,000 square feet to support its mission. Delta was asked to prepare a master plan that would help guide CMS through its projected space requirements over the coming 15 years. The resulting master plan considered functional requirements, projected staff growth, adjacency requirements, infrastructure requirements, parking needs, physical security, and emergency evacuation options. This was accomplished by interviewing administrators and directors from each of CMS’ 16 components to understand their operations and project future needs, interviewing operations and maintenance personnel to identify opportunities and deficiencies, reviewing personnel records to assess trends in the number of employees, evaluating and assessing existing physical facilities and furnishings, evaluating capacity and life expectancy of existing building systems, meeting with state and local highway officials to determine capacity of surrounding roadways, studying the local real estate market to determine space availability and lease rates, studying space standards for other government agencies, and investigating existing and proposed public transportation services in the area. In addition to the internal operations, Delta was charged with developing an emergency evacuation plan for the headquarters campus.
Based on space standards established by the Department of Health and Human Services, Delta developed a module that permitted office, work station, and support space configurations that maximized the efficiency and flexibility of the existing building. Then space in the building was assigned based on adjacency requirements and the number of work stations and offices required by each component. It also took into consideration phasing of the work to minimize the amount of swing space required and the location of the existing personnel to minimize the number of people to be relocated. With that accomplished, Delta prepared options for accommodating projected growth that included expansion of the existing headquarters building to accommodate all personnel on one campus, maintaining or adding off-campus leased facilities, and constructing a second building independent of the main campus to support projected space needs. In addition, Delta looked into a “what if scenario” that considered how CMS would be able to support a previously unanticipated initiative that required the addition of 500 people within a short period of time. In order to address the emergency evacuation issues, Delta evaluated egress from the site, available evacuation routes, and options for additional points of egress from the fenced sited. All of the options for space and evacuation were evaluated with representatives from CMS and used as the basis for developing the final master plan.