Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences

New Advanced Forensic Center Phase 1

The HCIFS offers two distinct forensic services for the community: the Medical Examiner and the Crime Laboratory. The comprehensive planning process for the new Advanced Forensic Center, which houses both services, began in 2007 and involved experts from business, medical, laboratory, and scientific fields. The resulting design culminates in an integrated use of space flowing seamlessly between clinical, laboratory, administrative, public, and teaching/training areas.

The master plan for the Forensic Center includes two phases:

Phase 1 – a nine-story, 210,000-square-foot tower. The tower houses approximately 150,000 square feet of laboratory, morgue, administrative, public, and teaching/training spaces with 60,000 square feet of unfinished shell space available for expansion.

Phase 2 – a four-story building for future expansion to accommodate the growing needs of the county, as well as the agencies and families served by the Institute.

Forensic science disciplines include: morgue, medical investigations, pathology, anthropology, histology, forensic imaging, drug chemistry, trace evidence, firearms, toxicology, quality management, evidence management, administration, records, business office, shared space, and facility management. CLD also worked with Dr. Kahn on the County’s Regional Forensic Genetics Laboratory, a 15,000-sf fast-track renovation of a Nabisco Products Factory completed in 2012 and which will move from their current location in 2027.

The Forensic Center is targeting LEED certification and features energy-efficient HVAC and ventilation systems.


Houston, Texas


210,000 GSF


Needs assessment, programming, laboratory and MEP planning and design, equipment planning


Targeting LEED Certification