Consolidated Forensic Laboratory

Government of the District of Colombia, Department of General Services
  • Medical Examiner's Lab

    Photo by Alan Karchmer

  • Firing Range

    Photo by Jim Tetro

The 351,0000-gsf Consolidated Forensic Laboratory (CFL) in the District of Columbia serves the Department of Forensic Services, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, and the Department of Public Health. The building rises seven stories above ground; two below-grade levels contain evidence storage, vehicle exam, firing range/bullet recovery, lab/exam areas, BSL-3, autopsy, support lab areas, offices/conference space, and the parking garage.

The goal of the CFL is to help DC’s public safety agencies enhance their mission-critical duties as it streamlines operations between the three stakeholders in a safe and secure environment. The shared space includes a six-story atrium with break areas to encourage collaboration between the agencies, multipurpose rooms, a fitness center, locker rooms, and showers.

The Department of Forensic Sciences suite includes areas for evidence collection, handling, and analysis, and provides a chain of custody. The suite includes the tools for the Crime Scene Services division to conduct extensive criminal investigations, including a vehicle exam bay and booths where investigators can deconstruct and process a car from a forensics point of view. There also is a firing range, bullet recovery, fire arms examination, fingerprint examination, blood drying rooms, DNA extraction and examination, trace evidence, and crime scene reconstruction space.

The Public Health’s lab includes isolation rooms, rabies lab, newborn screening, cell culture, immunology, and a BSL-3 suite so they can investigate, handle, and contain substances or diseases that would pose a threat to the public.

The office of the Chief Medical Examiner contains an infectious autopsy suite built to BSL-3 standards to contain potential disease or harmful substances, an autopsy theater for education and autopsy viewing, two isolation autopsy rooms, an embalming room, and an “open” autopsy area. In addition, there is a 4-degree-Celsius body storage room with a 190-body capacity, with an additional 20-body storage capacity in the BSL-3 and isolated autopsy storage rooms. The suite also has a full-body x-ray room and dental x-ray room, and anthropology, histology, and toxicology labs.

The mechanical system includes six 100-percent-outside-air handling units (AHUs) that operate with an N+1 capacity. The exhaust system includes a combination of general and contaminated exhaust systems: Three AHUs are equipped with enthalpy energy recovery wheels for non-contaminated exhaust, and three are equipped with glycol energy recovery coils for potentially contaminated exhaust. The BSL-3 and infectious autopsy suites are supplied with two dedicated HEPA-filtered exhaust systems with redundant fans. The electrical system features a 2500-KW standby emergency generator.

The project is certified LEED Platinum.


Project Data
Project Type: 
New Construction
Completion Date: 
July, 2012
Washington, DC
Delivery Method: 
Design/Bid/Build, General Contractor (GC)
Project GSF: 
Project Cost: 
Construction Cost: 
Building Descriptors: 
Passenger and Freight Elevators
Gillespie Corporation
Vehicle Elevator
Johnson Controls Inc.
Air to Air Energy Recovery Equipment
Johnson Controls Inc.
Indoor Air Central Station Air Handling Units
Riverside Hydronics
Condensing Boilers
Cleaver Brooks
Fire Tube Boilers
SPX Cooling Technologies
Cooling Towers
Johnson Controls Inc.
Centrifugal Water Chillers
Scroll Water Chillers
Water Control Corporation
Cistern Water Reclamation System
Effluent Decontamination System
HydroMax, Inc.
Chemical Waste System
EH Price Industries
Chilled Beams
Laboratory Air Valves
Flanders / CSC Corporation
BSL-3 Scan Air Filtration System
Thermo Fisher Scientific
Fume Hoods
Labconco Corporation
Bio Safety Cabinets
STERIS Corporation
STERIS Corporation
Glassware Washer
Thermo Fisher Scientific
Laboratory Casework
Team Fabricators Inc.
Bullet Recovery Tank
Mopec Inc.
Mortuary Equipment
Savage Range Systems, Inc.
Firing Range Equipment
McKissack & McKissack
Office Interior Architecture
Laboratory Planner
Interior Designer
Philip S. Cooper & Associates, P.C. (formerly Baker Cooper)
Production Support
Vanderweil Engineers
Mechanical/Electrical Engineer
ReStl Designers
Structural Engineer
Delon Hampton & Associates
Civil Engineer
Landscape Architect
WorkingBuildings LLC
Commissioning Agent
Froehling & Robertson
Environmental Consultant
System Planning Corporation
Security Consultant
S.C. Myers & Associates
Cost Consultant
Atlantic Consulting
Vertical Transportation Consultant
Rolf Jensen & Associates
Life Safety Consultant
Polysonics Corporation
Acoustical and Audio/Visual Consultants
MCLA Architectural Lighting Design
Lighting Design
Colin Gordon & Associates
Vibration Consultant
Thermo Fisher Scientific
EMI/RFI Consultant
Cyanocrylate Fuming Chamber
Kinetics Sound Control
Firing Range Sound Absorbing Panels and Floating Floor System
STERIS Corporation
Autoclaves and Glasswasher
Harris Environmental
Environmental Room Manufacturer
Arcoplast Interior Systems for Critical Environments
Glass-Fiber Reinforced Composite Panel
BSL-3 Pass-Thru Cabinet
Published 8-28-2013