National Institutes of Health  

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), an agency under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service, is the steward of medical and behavioral research for the nation. The NIH mission is science in the pursuit of fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to extend healthy life and reduce the burdens of illness and disability.

Office of Research Facilities Development and Operations (ORF)

The Office of Research Facilities Development and Operations (ORF) was created in April 2003 to provide a single point of accountability for all NIH facility activities, to streamline information flow, and to facilitate decision making on research and research support facility issues.

The primary responsibilities of the Office of Research Facilities are:

  • Planning, developing, and managing NIH owned and leased facilities;
  • Assisting the NIH Director with the formulation and execution of the Buildings and Facilities appropriation;
  • Developing and maintaining policies and standards governing the development and use of real property;
  • Planning and directing facilities-related service;
  • Protecting and enhancing the NIH environment;
  • Providing centralized acquisition services for architecture, engineering, and construction contracting, as well as real property purchase and lease activities.

The Office of Research Facilities is comprised of Office of the Director (OD) and nine functional divisions and offices. Dan Wheeland is the Director (301) 594-0999.

  • Office of Hospital Physical Environment (OHPE)
    Director/Chief, Rozario A. (Tony) Francis
    (301) 549-6472
    OHPE supports Clinical Center/Hospital in retention of "Accredited Status" by overseeing and facilitating compliance with The Joint Commission's "Hospital Accreditation Standards" (i.e. Life Safety, Environment of Care, and Utility System Management); in collaboration with various ORF and ORS offices to provide a safe physical environment for patient treatment, biomedical research and occupant safety.
  • Division of Facilities Planning (DFP)
    Director, Ricardo Herring
    (301) 496-5037
    DFP coordinates and manages all planning related to NIH owned and leased facilities on all campuses.
  • Division of Facilities Operations and Maintenance (DFOM)
    Director, Donna Phillips
    (301) 496-5086
    DFOM is responsible for the safe, efficient, and effective operation and maintenance of NIH real property.
  • Office of Acquisitions, ORF (OA-ORF)
    Director, Kala Shankar
    (301) 402-0878
    OA-ORD supports biomedical research by providing contracting solutions to secure required architecture and engineering, construction, real estate leasing, and facility support services. The division is also committed to doing this in a cost effective and quality manner.
  • Division of Technical Resources (DTR)
    Director, Farhad Memarzadeh
    (301) 435-8746
    DTR is an International Standards Organization (ISO) 9001:2008 certified and conducts scientific bio-environmental research and studies to advance emerging technologies used in biomedical research facilities. DTR provides consultation services, comprehensive review, oversight and quality assurance of design and construction documents for NIH intramural and extramural Biosafety Level (BSL)-2, BSL-3 and BSL-4 biomedical research and animal research facilities. DTR develops and maintains the NIH Design Requirements Manual (DRM) to provide detailed requirements and guidance for biomedical research laboratory and animal research facilities in the U.S. DTR also oversees and provide technical and engineering support for the operations, maintenance, and quality assurance of the Bethesda Campus Central Utility Plant, Cogeneration Plant and the utilities distribution systems to ensure that utilities are delivered safely, efficiently and optimally.
  • Division of Environmental Protection (DEP)
    Director, William (Kenny) Floyd
    (301) 496-3537
    DEP works to protect and enhance the NIH environment.
  • Division of Budget and Financial Management (DBFM)
    Director, Victoria Ward
    (301) 594-0999
    DBFM is in charge of Business Support and Budget Development and Execution for ORF.
  • Division of Facilities Stewardship (DFS)
    Acting Director, Ramin Zandpour
    (301) 273-5657
    DFS is charged with assessing and understanding the condition of NIH real property assets and their systems, developing and overseeing plans, budgets, and projects and programs for correcting deficiencies, serving as technical experts relative to buildings and their systems, and reviewing requests for approval of maintenance/repair projects that exceed identified thresholds.
  • Division of Design and Construction Management (DDCM)
    Director, Rick Robey
    (301) 827-4509
    DDCM works collaboratively with ICs to provide biomedical research facilities that support critical NIH research and to provide the support facilities for administration and management. DDCM oversees the design, construction, repair and renovation of all NIH facilities and utility systems and manages NIH real property. DDCM provides support to branches, coordinates and manages program and project management, acquisition activities, reporting, required professional certifications, finance and budget. DDCM also manages major projects and provides administrative oversight.


  • Bioenvironmental Studies—The Office of Research Facilities collaborates on bioenvironmental research to improve indoor air quality and save energy in biomedical laboratories and animal research facilities. The Principal Investigator for Research Facilities is Farhad Memarzadeh. The results of these studies have been cited and, in many cases, adopted as national and international standards for labs and hospitals.
  • NIH Waste Disposal Guide—This Guide provides information on the way NIH handles recycling and disposal of different types of waste including general, chemical, multihazardous, radioactive, and medical pathological waste.