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60+ Years of Design + Innovation

A LEED Platinum Science Building

DC Consolidated Forensic Laboratory
Washington, DC, USA

The Consolidated Forensic Laboratory combines DC’s public safety forensic science and public health efforts into one state-of-the-art, LEED Platinum building.

The new lab building represents a coming of age for forensic science as it evolves from basic police work into an independent science requiring intense scrutiny and rigor. In this facility, the city can coordinate crime, public safety and health investigations to help law enforcement officials solve crimes quickly and efficiently.

Working with many agencies and stakeholders, the design team developed common protocols and functional relationships to create a universally adaptable research model that promotes interdisciplinary interaction, maintains strict chain-of-custody integrity and delivers high-performance technical space for science.

Labs are located along the north side, allowing for natural light without significant heat gain in these mechanically sensitive spaces. Building core and lab support spaces are in the center. Office spaces are on the south side, with a full-height curtain wall that takes advantage of natural light.

The building satisfies the stringent safety and reliability requirements of a first-responder facility while being designed for LEED Platinum certification. In addition to the glazed solar shading system and a high-efficiency curtain wall, sustainable features include an efficient HVAC system with chilled beams and energy recovery air handling units. Runoff from the green roof and remaining hardscape goes to a cistern sized for a 100-year storm. The water is used for cooling tower make-up, reducing annual potable water consumption by more than 2 million gallons.

Reported Laboratory Design: “The inter-agency collaboration, co-location of forensic science units and the inclusion of modern laboratory design while still maintaining the proper protocols and chain of custody earned the D.C. Consolidated Forensic Laboratory the 2013 Laboratory of the Year Special Mention honors.”


LEED-NC Platinum


351,000 sq. ft. / 32,600 sq. m.


Interior Design
Laboratory Planning
Landscape Architecture


AIA Virginia Society – Merit Award

American Institute of Architects – Technology in Architectural Practice BIM Award

AIA Washington, DC – Merit Award

AIA Washington, DC – Presidential Citation for Sustainability

NAIOP Maryland/DC – Award of Excellence – Best Biotech / Science & Technology Project

R&D Magazine – Lab of the Year Special Mention

US Green Building Council National Capital Region Chapter – Award of Excellence / New Construction Project of the Year


Amount of storm water runoff, thanks to a green roof and hardscape collection system

2 million

Gallons of water saved by reusing storm water in the facility’s cooling tower


Water savings


Number of consultant firms accessing HOK’s BIM model


Outside air used for ventilation



1 August 2015
“Feedback Loop: Post-Occupancy Evaluation”
Architectural Record

6 November 2013
“DC’s Public Health Laboratory Gets Federal Approval to Open Region’s First Biosafety Level 3 Lab”
Lab Manager

28 August 2013
“Consolidated Forensic Laboratory”

6 June 2013
“2013 Laboratory of the Year Special Mention: Building a Program, Not Just a Lab”
Laboratory Design

28 May 2013
“DC’s New Consolidated Forensic Laboratory Receives LEED Platinum Certification”
HOK News 

1 December 2012
“Detail: Solar Sunscreen, Consolidated Forensic Laboratory”

1 October 2012
“CSI DC? New High-Tech Lab Opens for Department of Forensic Sciences in Washington”