Dallas County Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences
Dallas, Texas
Dallas County
Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences
Dallas, Texas

Forensics. It’s about details. Every piece of evidence must be considered. This translates into facilities where every element of design must be carefully considered and planned to improve the critical work taking place inside. Air flow, work flow, the chain of evidence; all must be taken into consideration to create an environment focused on the details.

The Vision and Design

The 138,395-square-foot campus comprises three physically connected buildings, including a four-story forensics laboratory, a two-story administration building and a one-story medical examiner’s office. The Office of Forensic Sciences is responsible for physical evidence, forensic chemistry, forensic biology, firearms, trace evidence and toxicology.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner provides scientific medico-legal investigation of suspicious deaths within the service region. Forensic pathology facilities include administration, investigations, autopsy complex, anthropology laboratory, x-ray, evidence storage, tissue recovery, histology laboratory and support services. The inherent nature of this complex of buildings makes sustainability difficult to achieve because of the tremendous amount of fresh air required. Incorporating aspects of sustainability, air quality and air filtration were key components in the facility’s design. The morgue required a high volume of fresh air, while the laboratories required extensive access to natural daylight. The entire facility required a considerable amount of air filtration.