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Mexico Laboratory Directors Course Architectural Design of Crime Laboratory James Aguilar J.A. Architecture & Consulting.

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Presentation on theme: "Mexico Laboratory Directors Course Architectural Design of Crime Laboratory James Aguilar J.A. Architecture & Consulting."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mexico Laboratory Directors Course Architectural Design of Crime Laboratory James Aguilar J.A. Architecture & Consulting

2 Forensic - Architectural Design Key Issues in designing a Crime Laboratory Unique laboratory type Evidence protection Chain-of-Custody Contamination concerns Safety issues Biological hazards Security (Internal & External) Planning issues o Evidence flow though lab o Accreditation o Space to allow program growth / flexibility o Future facility growth (Forensic program/technologies evolving) Robust & Dependable building systems

3 Forensic - Architectural Design What makes a Crime Laboratory different to other Laboratory types Evidence – One of A Kind Regulatory issues (ASCLD) Cross contamination concerns Security requirements Safety concerns o Unknown products Layout space o Evidence examination o Crime scene re-enactments Separation of lab instrumentation MEP systems

4 Forensic - Architectural Design Evidence – One of A Kind Tracking (Electronic) Security Chain-of-Custody Receiving & Storage Central storage vs. Satellite storage o High-Density storage system Cross contamination

5 Forensic - Architectural Design Cross Contamination Issues Evidence Staff HVAC systems o Separate systems – Between labs and office Areas – Evidence storage rooms – Drying rooms Bio-Vestibules to labs

6 Forensic - Architectural Design Safety Issues Staff protection Evidence –Unknown health issues Air-borne pathogens Potential explosive evidence Chemical storage Separate air systems for labs & offices

7 Forensic - Architectural Design Security Issues Passive system o Planning of site and building to minimize risk Electronic o Surveillance cameras o Card access system o Intrusion detection system Physical o External – Exterior walls – Site barriers Internal planning

8 Forensic - Architectural Design Levels of Security - Internal Zone 1 - Public Lobby, Restrooms and Reception Zone 2 - Semi-Public Circulation Zones Zone 3 - Secured rooms - Laboratories Zone 4 - High Security – Evidence & Narcotics Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 3 Zone 4

9 Forensic - Architectural Design Site Issues Controlled entry points Adjacent to clients Secured parking – Staff & Evidence contributors Parking o Visitors o Evidence contributor o Staff o Crime laboratory vehicles Future expansion potential Blast zone clearance

10 Forensic - Architectural Design Laboratory Sections Forensic Biology Lab (DNA functions Fast growing section – New technology evolution) Mitochondrial DNA Lab (New technology evolving) Low Copy DNA Lab (New technology evolving) CODIS Trace Evidence Lab Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) room Arson Lab Firearms Lab / Firing Range (Projectile recovery tank) Toolmarks Gun Shot Residue Lab Toxicology Lab Blood / Breath Alcohol Lab Controlled Substances Lab Latent Prints Computer Forensics (Fast growing section – New technology evolution) Questioned Documents Digital Imaging Audio/Video/Photography Vehicle Examination Evidence Processing Evidence Storage Evidence examination/screening room Instrumentation Room for laboratory equipment Crime Scene Re-enactment Room – Multi- purpose

11 Forensic - Architectural Design Laboratory Sections – Design Considerations Forensic Biology o One Way Travel - examination > extraction > set-up > bio-vestibule > amplification > exit o Distance separation of room o Temperature sensitivity o Contamination concerns o Casework mobility o Refrigerated evidence o Dedicated functions – reagent prep, janitors closets, examination rooms o Examination rooms – separate victim and suspect Mitochondrial DNA (New technology - evolving) o Bio-Vestibule: Inter-locking doors o One Way Travel o Distance separation o Temperature sensitivity o Contamination concerns o Casework mobility o Biological safety cabinet – bone grinding Low Copy DNA (New technology - evolving) o Bio-Vestibule: Inter-locking doors CODIS o Non-Laboratory space o Sample storage o Data/Telecommunication connections

12 Forensic - Architectural Design Laboratory Sections – Design Considerations Trace Evidence Lab o Mobile tables – evidence could be large items o Individual U-shaped workstations – Deep countertop depth 36” o Shared countertop space o Instrumentation room o Microscopy room – vibration sensitivity & light control o Low air flow and air distribution locations o Adjustable task exhaust/lighting o Lighting – multi-level and natural lighting Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) room o Vibration & temperature sensitivity o Avoid electromagnetic radiation – possible shielding o Temperature & humidity control o Utility closet – pumps o Liquid nitrogen delivery Arson Lab o Volatile evidence o Individual U-shaped workstations o Explosion-proof fume hoods & refrigerator/freezers o Task exhaust /lighting o Chemical storage cabinet Gun Shot Residue Lab o Contamination control o Air pressurization o Mobile tables o Do no locate near firing range

13 Forensic - Architectural Design Laboratory Sections – Design Considerations Vehicle Examination o Clear overhead clearance feet plus o Clear space around vehicles o Separate bays for multiple vehicles o Vehicle lift types – Mobile or fixed o Lighting – Multi-level switching & adjustable o Multi-purpose spaces – large space for large evidence items o Exhaust hose with articulating arms o 100% exhaust o Fixed durable casework – Tool storage o Hose reels – air, water, electrical etc. Crime Scene Equipment Storage o Equipment lockers o Shower/Restroom nearby Drying Rooms o Adjacent to Vehicle Examination, Evidence intake & Crime Scene Vehicle parking o Decomtaminable finishes – harsh cleaning fluids o Exhaust for odors – High & Low exhaust registers o Bug screens and gasketing

14 Forensic - Architectural Design Laboratory Sections – Design Considerations Firearms Laboratory o Individual U-Shaped workstations o Darkenable workstations o Microscope tables – vertically adjustable & vibration sensitive o Lighting - Multi-level switching o Reference gun collection storage room – Size to accommodate future growth o Ammunition storage o NIBIN Unit o International Ballistic Identification System (IBIS) room Firing Range o Distance Range – Length based upon type of weapons o Concrete walls and ceiling – Design to test weapon types o Air flow away from firing line – 75 firing line o 100% exhaust – lead particles – HEPA filtration o Acoustical panels & deflection panels at walls and ceilings o Lighting – Multi-level switching & adjustable o Space for casing ejection distance determination o Bullet traps type – wet snail trap, dry snail trap, rubber lamella, granule o Projectile recovery tank o Target retrieval system Toolmarks o Wood countertops – Tool storage o Fume hood o Adjacent to firing range Photo courtesy of

15 Forensic - Architectural Design Laboratory Sections – Design Considerations Toxicology Lab o Linear casework layout o Separate from drug laboratory o Fume hoods o Instrumentation room – Not shared with drug lab o Drug standards storage vault o Balance room or counter space – Vibration sensitive o Sample receiving area o Coroner toxicology analysis – separate room - odors Blood / Breath Alcohol Lab o Linear casework layout o Instrument repair bench o Sample receiving area o Task exhaust /lighting o Fume hoods o Instrumentation benches – Linear casework layout o Calibration room for instruments – Storage for instruments, parts and tools – Linear casework layout – Mobile tables and carts

16 Forensic - Architectural Design Laboratory Sections – Design Considerations Controlled Substances Lab o Individual U-Shaped workstations – Locking storage cabinets o Shared countertop space o Vibration sensitive area – Marble table - balances o Task exhaust/lighting o Low flow countertop fume extractor – Fine dust particles o Secured reference drugs standards storage room o Dedicated instrumentation room o Reagent prep room – shared o Explosion fume hoods & refrigerator/freezers o Chemical storage cabinet Photo courtesy of

17 Forensic - Architectural Design Laboratory Sections – Design Considerations Latent Prints o Individual U-Shaped workstations – Dusting stations – fume hood o Mobile tables o Space for large items o Chemical Processing Lab – Superglue cabinets – Dye staining sink o Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) o Alternate light source room o Laser room Computer Forensics o Non-Laboratory space o Individual U-Shaped digital workstations o Anti-static finishes o Sensitive information under review – No direct outside observation – Visitor warning system o Multiple electrical and data outlets o Clean room – Evidence hard drive recovery o Computer evidence storage room Photo courtesy of

18 Forensic - Architectural Design Laboratory Sections – Design Considerations Questioned Documents o Non-Laboratory space o Perimeter casework o Mobile tables o Light table o Lighting – Multi-level switching & natural daylighting o Chemical processing room – Fume hood Digital Imaging o Non-Laboratory space o Perimeter casework o Mobile tables o Lighting – Multi-level switching & natural daylighting Audio/Video/Photography o Non-Laboratory space o Mobile tables o Lighting – Multi-level switching & natural daylighting

19 Forensic - Architectural Design Laboratory Sections – Design Considerations Evidence Intake/Processing o Evidence exchange counters o Adjacent to exterior access o Evidence contributor lobby and separate triage room o Security camera monitoring o Off hours evidence drop-off lockers o Mobile casework – flexible arrangements o Areas for logging in and processing evidence o Distribution method to staff o Hazardous Evidence Processing laboratory – Suspect evidence o Evidence shipping area Evidence Storage o Secured rooms – full height walls and hard ceilings o Various evidence storage vaults/rooms – Dry storage - Valuables – Biological - Chemical – Clan Lab & Arson – Weapons - Refrigerated – Narcotics - Outgoing evidence o Main evidence storage complex –vs.- satellite evidence storage rooms o Storage Systems – High-Density mobile storage system – Fixed Shelving o Ventilations – Air exchange rate and high/low exhaust – 100% exhaust o Drying rooms for wet/odorous evidence

20 Forensic - Architectural Design Laboratory Sections – Design Considerations Evidence Examination/Screening Room o Shared or dedicated o Mobile tables o Perimeter fixed casework / storage cabinets o Fume hood or Biological safety cabinet o Oversized entry doors o Lighting - Multi-level switching and adjustable o Overhead racks – adjustable o Low velocity air flow – Plan placement of registers o High & low exhaust registers Instrumentation Room for Laboratory Equipment o Control heat source o Minimize services (electrical & gases) – cost saving o Control noise level in laboratory space o Maintenance service access to back of instrument Crime Scene Re-enactment Room – Multi-purpose o Clear floor area o Cleanable walls and ceilings Photo courtesy of

21 Forensic - Architectural Design Laboratory Planning Issues Adjacencies Relationships Future growth Structural column spacing Evidence security Evidence flow Evidence & Secured file storage systems o High Density storage systems Evidence delivery o Entry point o Hours of operation Contamination Regional caseload types Refrigeration & Freezers o Walk-in units verse Stand alone o Temperature monitoring and alarming Biological hazards o Unknown evidence o Clandestine drugs Bodily fluids

22 Forensic - Architectural Design Laboratory Planning Issues

23 Forensic - Architectural Design Laboratory Casework Layout Understand function of lab section to determine which casework type(s) are suitable Laboratory function (Generalist -vs.- Specialized) Linear layout -vs.- U-Shaped layout o Circulation path impact o Air flow due to circulation o Contamination concerns o Fine particle disturbance Standing -vs.- Sitting height Fixed and/or Adjustable Accommodate future growth

24 Forensic - Architectural Design Laboratory Casework Types Need to understand function of lab section to determine which casework type is suitable o Wood Casework o Metal casework o Plastic Laminate o Stainless Steel Fixed Casework -vs.- Mobile Casework Adjustable Casework Mobile Tables (offer flexibility)

25 Forensic - Architectural Design Laboratory Equipment Building System Coordination o Chemical fume hoods o Biological safety cabinets o Overhead track systems o Low flow countertop exhaust cabinets o Task Exhaust – point of use o Vehicle examination lift o Stand alone refrigerators & freezers o Walk-in cold boxes o High-density file storage systems o Point of use laboratory gas generators o Autoclave o Laboratory glasswasher o Water polishing unit – Type 1 point of use o Horizontal projectile rec. tank o Bullet trap o Owner provided/installed laboratory equipment

26 Forensic - Architectural Design Finishes Understand function of laboratory section to determine which type(s) are suitable: o Durable o De-contaminable o Cleanable o Chemical resistances o Laboratory grade products o Epoxy finishes o Non-particulate & non-dusting o Secure / Attack resistant o Cost

27 Forensic - Architectural Design Mechanical Issues Temperature control / Sensitivity o DNA Sections o SEM Air Supply o Low flow o Avoid placement of air supply diffusers over evidence examination areas Pressurization (Bio Vestibule) Zoning of each laboratory unit o Services o Control Humidity & De-Humidification HEPA Filters o Firing Range Fume hood exhaust – Separate from building exhaust system o Odors o Volatile fumes Exhaust systems o Labs: avoid plenum return system – odors & contamination o Task exhaust – point of use o 100% Exhaust –vs.- Recirculation - Laboratory suites and Evidence - 100% exhaust - Office – recirculation o High & low exhaust Acoustics & Vibration

28 Forensic - Architectural Design Electrical Issues Standard power Emergency power Power distribution o Electrical Raceway – Flexibility o Different power distribution at: – Laboratory spaces – Instrumentation rooms – Offices Uninterruptible Power Systems Clean Power – Harmonic Distortion Data / Communications Systems Lighting systems o Exterior and Interior o Lighting levels – Laboratory spaces -vs.- evidence examination o Fixture types o Multi-level switching Task lighting Grounding system Fire Alarm System Paging & Public address systems

29 Forensic - Architectural Design Plumbing Water systems o Industrial o Domestic o Ultra Pure (Type I – IV) o Deionized Water o R.O. Water Disposal systems o Lab waste o Chemical o Floor drains Emergency Showers / Eyewash Units Vacuum system Lab Gases o Hydrogen o Nitrogen o Helium o Purge Gas o Zero Air Lab Gas distribution system o House system o Point-of-use generators o Cylinders Fire Protection systems o Wet pipe o Dry pipe (Pre-Action systems) o Chemical

30 Forensic - Architectural Design Design Process Needs Assessment Facility Assessment Programming Conceptual Design Documentation (Schematic Design, Design Development & Contract Documents) Bidding Construction Commissioning (Not just building systems, but include forensic equipment and systems) Close-out

31 Forensic - Architectural Design Future Trends in Forensic Investigation Forensic lab buildings need to be designed with the ability to expand o Internally o Externally Increasing automation in certain lab procedures o Robotics o Future DNA Analysis - Chip DNA Emergence of digital evidence as a new lab section o Computer Forensics o Cell Phone Digital Data o Video Surveillance Data Increasing reliance upon computerized data bases: o AFIS o CODIS o NIBIN Digital photography occurs throughout the laboratory Multiple utility services (Lab gases, electrical power etc.) to accommodate future instrument upgrades

32 Forensic - Architectural Design Conclusion - Key Issues in designing a forensic facility Unique laboratory type Evidence protection Chain of Custody Contamination concerns Safety issues Biological hazards Security (Internal & External) Planning issues o Evidence flow though lab o Accreditation o Space to allow program growth / flexibility o Future facility growth (Forensic program/technologies evolving) Robust & Dependable Building Systems

33 Forensic - Architectural Design Questions James Aguilar J.A. Architecture & Consulting


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