DFS operates and maintains four facilities throughout the Commonwealth that are shared with the Department of Health’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME). The Northern lab in Manassas, opened in 2009 as LEED Silver Certified, is the newest DFS lab. The three other laboratories in Norfolk, Richmond and Roanoke were originally constructed in the 1990’s and have been or are in the process of a renovation/expansion project.
Laboratory facilities are significant consumers of energy. In an effort to reduce energy consumption, DFS entered into an $11 million ‘Energy Performance Contract’ with Trane in December 2009 to make improvements in the Central, Eastern and Western laboratories. Final project improvements were completed in December 2012. The contract and associated financing costs are funded entirely with the savings achieved through reduced energy consumption.
DFS is actively renovating and expanding the Central and Western laboratories. The Eastern project provided additional laboratory space for the Controlled Substances and Toxicology sections and was completed in 2014.
Planning for the Western laboratory project, which provides for renovations and expansions of space for both DFS and the Western Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, began with the purchase of land adjacent to the building in 2009. The construction of the expansion began in the spring of 2014, with an official Groundbreaking Ceremony held in July of that year. Construction of the expansion was completed in January of 2016, which allowed staff to move into the new space so that renovation of the previously occupied spaces could begin. The official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was held on September 26, 2016.
A Renovation/Expansion project for the Central laboratory is currently in the detailed planning stage.