New Mexico Department of Agriculture and New Mexico State University

Agricultural Modernization and Educational Facilities

The modernization of the Spanish Renaissance Revival building that houses departments regulating agricultural standards for the New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA). The laboratories provide services and tests to help protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of New Mexico.

Existing lab do not meet current and projected space or infrastructure needs and are not efficient. The new facilities will include labs for chemistry, metrology, seed and petroleum.

  • The chemistry lab checks animal feed & pet food and commercial fertilizers and pesticides to ensure quality products. Office space is being repurposed into updated labs, with the design team retaining as many of the walls as possible.
  • The metrology laboratory verifies weights of consumer items such as fuel. Oversized and heavy objects are brought into the building via a bridge crane system. Provers, which are large vessels of water used to weigh liquids, have exacting temperature, humidity and vibration requirements.
  • The seed laboratory confirms seed qualities and quantities.
  • The petroleum standards lab inspects commercial petroleum measuring devices. It also ensures product quality for gasoline, diesel, kerosene, brake fluid, antifreeze and lubricating oil. Unique to this lab are two test engines, which have exacting cooling and ventilation requirements. The design team has worked to mitigate effects of the engine heat and noise to adjacent labs.
  • Future services include cannabis and antibiotics/antimicrobial resistance testing.

The labs are designed to adapt with scientific, equipment and regulatory changes for years to come. The building, located on the New Mexico State University grounds, creates a “campus within a campus” while allowing the NMDA to have a unique visible identify. A strategic phasing plan will allow for continued operations throughout construction with minimal disruptions.


Las Cruces, New Mexico


17,778 GSF


Programming, laboratory planning and design, equipment planning


Dekker Perich Sabatini