Although fighting crime is no easy task, it’s gotten a bit easier in the Mile High City since the construction of the new $28 million Denver Police Crime Laboratory. The 60,000 sq. ft. building opened in 2012 and substantially improves the department’s capabilities in evidence collection and analysis. The building is also the testament to the capabilities of Douglass Colony Group. The Denver based firm was responsible for the fabrication/installation of the Reynobond aluminum composite material panel system utilized on the building’s geometrically challenging exterior.
The Denver Police Department’s old lab had been located in a 14,000 square foot space on the 6th floor of the Denver Police Administration Building. The new building houses nine forensic units under one roof and features improved forensic and evidence-handling resources, direct delivery of evidence to the lab, and on-site vehicle examinations which previously had to be conducted at various district police offices. The new facility will help the City of Denver to investigate, identify and exonerate suspects while successfully prosecuting criminal cases.
Designed by Durrant Smith Group Architects and spearheaded by JE Dunn Construction Company, the Denver Police Crime Laboratory building is architecturally unique and geometrically complex with all four sides completely different in shape and design. The building façade was designed to represent interwoven DNA strands. The jagged edges, flowing design, interesting façade, modern-looking reflective glass, and varying planes of composite metal wall panels give the building the appearance of a double helix, similar to that of a DNA strand.
Douglass Colony Group’s role in the project was to design, fabricate and install more than 1,800 Reynobond aluminum composite panels over 30,000 sq. ft. of wall surface. Douglass Colony installed a DCG 2300 Rain Screen System and job specific system modifications were made for window integration. Six different colors of 4mm-thick, FR-core Reynobond were utilized—Castle Gray, Bone White, Vancouver Copper, Champagne Metallic, Pewter, and Deep Black. Reynobond is a product of Alcoa Architectural Products, Eastman, GA. The panels were installed over a Vaproshield SA moisture barrier.
Talking about the job, Jeb Morgenegg, ACM Panel Division Manager at Douglass Colony Group, said, “The unique design and geometry of the building, with its tremendous variance, made it a challenge for our team to get accurate measurements on the panels. To ensure accuracy, each and every one of the 1,800 panels was measured, with some panels requiring six points of measurement.
“Design complications arose when the building envelope was not a standard system thickness,” he added. “In order for the panels to tie in with the window system, the system depth, returns, extrusions and flashings had to be custom designed. Our team spent several months developing and testing the system so that it would seamlessly integrate into the window system.”
No panels were installed at ground level. In fact, all panel installations took place high off the ground (sometimes reaching heights of 72 feet) through the use of 100 foot boom lifts. Douglass Colony worked alongside many other trades during the entire construction process so coordination was vital. Specifically, Douglass Colony worked closely with the window glazers as more than half of the panels tied directly into the window glazing systems and the layout of the windows governed everything else. Coordinating with the window glazing and waterproofing ensured good process flow during the entire project.
The Denver Police Crime Laboratory incorporated many sustainable building practices that addressed energy savings, environmental stewardship, water efficiency, CO2 emissions, and improved indoor air quality. Construction and operations efforts included: diverting construction waste away from landfills, utilizing low-flow water fixtures and recycled content materials, and treating 100% of the storm water collected prior to entering the city storm water system. The Denver Police Crime Laboratory will meet or exceed Silver LEED Certification through the U.S. Green Building Council.
DNA is Denver’s most powerful law enforcement tool and this lab will assist with exonerations, investigative leads, property crimes, cold cases and so much more by examining evidentiary items for the presence of blood, saliva, cellular material, or other biological fluids to obtain DNA matches. Since 2008, the Denver Crime Laboratory unit has completed testing on over 2,800 cases (14,000 DNA samples) and received 1,330 CODIS (The Combined DNA Index System) matches. Because of this crime lab and its dedicated unit members, the city of Denver is a safer place to be!
About Alcoa Architectural Products
As a leading manufacturer of exterior and interior cladding and corporate identity solutions for commercial construction, Alcoa Architectural Products (AAP) helps architects, designers, specifiers and installers achieve their design visions and groundbreaking ideas through its range of Reynobond® / Reynolux® products. In addition to classic Reynobond ACM, Reynobond Natural Metals and Reynolux panels and flat sheet, this comprehensive array of products includes the revolutionary EcoClean™ finish, Reynobond Face Fastened Solution and Colorweld® 500 finish, as well as innovative materials such as the Reynobond Design Line, Anodized Reynobond and Reynobond with KEVLAR®. Alcoa Architectural Products is a business unit of Alcoa, the world’s leading producer of primary and fabricated aluminum, and the world’s largest miner of bauxite and refiner of alumina. For more information, visit www.reynobond.com.