Cuyahoga County Crime Laboratory Renovation

Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office

Hasenstab Architects provided architectural, laboratory and interior design services for the renovation of the Cuyahoga County Crime Laboratory. The 13,826-square-foot project area occupies a portion of the 3rd floor, previously occupied by University Hospital, and a portion of the basement level. This space was converted into the crime lab consisting of fingerprint laboratories and offices, fingerprint storage area, AFIS, drug laboratory and offices, secure evidence storage and evidence technicians office, and a ballistics laboratory and offices at the medical examiner’s office in Cleveland, Ohio. Ballistic lab functions are aligned with, and expand, the existing test firing facilities.

Design activities included a lab questionnaire for each laboratory, equipment room, storage, and special function spaces. The results from the questionnaire determined a clear outline of specific requirements for each space and was utilized as a tool through design meetings with the client’s stakeholders. A comprehensive laboratory equipment manual was prepared and provided for the owner and consulting engineers to document all laboratory equipment as a guide for design and installation requirements.

The crime laboratory design features fume hoods, forensic specialty hoods, laboratory casework configurations, work tops and work tables, and storage cabinets/shelving to support the specialized functions and equipment. The client’s stakeholders and the A/E team also engaged in site visits to similar facilities to gather additional information on current trends and crime laboratory needs to enhance the project design. The design also addressed ADA requirements including Cuyahoga County supplements.

Mechanical, HVAC and plumbing design marry the new crime laboratory systems with existing building infrastructure, including new laboratory exhaust systems. Electrical and technology designs included intensive study of County technology requirements including substantial security system integration. The electrical design included fire alarm controls to support future upgrades throughout the six-story building. Lighting control system designs were tailored to special needs in several laboratory spaces.

The crime laboratory was submitted to inspection and certification by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB).

Photo Credit: © 2014 Scott Pease Photography

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