Hamilton County Coroner and Crime Laboratory

Building Architecture- Large Scale (>10,000 sf)

Project Narrative

The new Hamilton County Coroner and Crime Lab (HCCL) provides an elevated level of crime fighting and public health services to Southwest Ohio. The state-of-the-art, modern facility stands in stark contrast to their former space, a dark, cramped, outdated facility which did not accommodate the workload, was inflexible for future growth, and provided virtually no daylight as the building included a mere three windows. The County sought to construct a new, modern crime lab to consolidate operations and enhance the departments' long-term goals. This new, energy-efficient, and light-filled collection of lab, autopsy, office, meeting, and training spaces will propel the County to the forefront of forensic medicine and offer capacity for service growth over the next 30 years.

The 83,500 SF, three-story building is designed to connect visually and physically to nearby Summit Park, which extends north of the site. A large, airy entry lobby is designed to greet a variety of visitors in an open and bright environment; accommodating both grieving families and law enforcement/investigation professionals. A 150-person auditorium supports the training, investigatory, and community outreach mission of HCCL. The flat floor and retractable seating in the auditorium provide flexibility to host conferences and community events of a variety of sizes, which can also utilize the nearby exterior patio. Staff can find respite from their work at the 3rd floor breakroom and covered roof deck overlooking Summit Park.

Speciality Awards

Community Impact

The new HCCL facility provides an elevated level of crime fighting and public health services to Southwest Ohio. The Crime Laboratory contains Serology/DNA, Controlled Substances, Firearms/Tool Marks, Trace Evidence, Toxicology, and Latent Prints. Office and lab spaces for forensic scientists and lab technicians are organized along a centralized glazed corridor which offers direct visual access to and from labs and offices for safety and communication. The Medicolegal Autopsy area contains morgue and autopsy spaces. Death investigations are performed in a respectful manner and decedents are received and released to funeral homes through a screened sallyport.

Innovation in Design

The project was designed and constructed following the guidance of the Hamilton County Green Building Policy for New Construction and Major Renovation. Buildings of this typology are challenged to reach such energy targets due to high air exchange rates required in the lab spaces in order to maintain staff safety. However, the project is pursuing LEED® Silver certification and has been designed to achieve an EUI of 150 by utilizing high-performance mechanical systems with energy recovery, LED lighting with day-lighting controls, and hyper-insulated façade systems with exterior sun-shaded glazing.

Project Details

Submission Category

Building Architecture- Large Scale (>10,000 sf)

Date of Completion

May, 2021

Project Cost