Today, Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent C. Gray and other district officials cut the ribbon—or in this case, the ceremonial yellow crime scene tape—to open the new headquarters of the Department of Forensic Sciences near L’Enfant Plaza. The new 350,000-square-foot laboratory and office building will also house the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, as well as the Metropolitan Police’s crime scene unit. HOK’s D.C. office served as the principal architect on the project, and worked with associate architects Baker Cooper (now Philip S. Cooper & Associates) and H.L. Walker & Associates, and interior architects McKissak & McKissak, to produce this LEED Gold facility, which features a non-occupyable 32,000-square-foot green roof and stormwater catchment system, as well as ground-level bioswales to reduce rainwater runoff. Inside, a full autopsy suite with toxicology and x-ray labs are supplemented by other forensic spaces such as a firing range, with a bullet recovery water tank. Offices with generous floor-to-ceiling heights receive ample daylight through the south-facing façade, which has exterior fritted glass louvers on hydraulic mounts that rotate according to readings from a roof-mounted weather monitoring system. This project won the 2011 AIA Technology in Architecture Practice BIM Award for BIM Excellence.
See an explanation of HOK's use of BIM technology in the video, below: