New State Laboratories and Office Complex – LEED Certified
Located on the Des Moines Area Community College campus, the new 5-building state complex houses forensic laboratories, a morgue and autopsy suite, a biosafety laboratory, a cleanroom, testing laboratories, bio/chemistry laboratories, and general office space for the Department of Public Safety – Division of Criminal Investigation and State Medical Examiner, Department of Agriculture Laboratories, and the University of Iowa Hygienic Laboratory.
The unique facility offers collaborative opportunities between the college and state regarding curriculum development, training, employment, share utilities, and coordinated building maintenance and operational services. The facility offers efficiency within departments by consolidating to one location, such as the state’s foremost crime analysts with pathologist performing autopsies alongside technicians scrutinizing crime scene evidence with unified-labs to make investigations more efficient.
Security for the facility was a top priority, requiring the integration of surveillance cameras, motion detectors, and pass-card checkpoints.
Green design practices were implemented throughout the building and the building achieved LEED Certified.
The Hygienic Laboratory area features environmental microbiology, blood lead, inorganic instruments, limnology, minerals and metals, newborn screening lab, a Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) laboratory, a Class 1000 cleanroom, and a mass spectroscopy. In accordance with CDC and NIH guidelines, the BSL-3 ante and decontamination rooms, security system, directional ventilation and exhaust system, HEPA air filtration, plumbing utility isolation, and system commissioning maximize worker, public, and environmental safety from harmful agents. The BSL-3 lab provides rapid access to bioterrorism testing and training in Iowa. Testing for such items as Anthrax and SARS, and other outbreaks like West Nile Virus, Whooping Cough, as well as food and pesticide poisoning could be performed.
The Forensics Lab provided for DNA Analysis, Toxicology, Instrument Lab, firing range, and other specialized areas of Forensic Chemistry.
The Medical Examiner Lab provided for Evidence Drying/Prep, Tissue Prep and Histology Labs.
The Agriculture Laboratory area composes of five main research areas – Pesticides, Food and Dairy, Feed and Fertilizer, Drug and Vitamin, and Entomology/Seed. These areas include Instrument labs, DNA Pre and Post PCR, Microscopy, and an Analytical Lab.