Guaynabo, Puerto Rico


DDD Architecture, PSC

Project Type



Pharma/Healthcare, State/Federal

Project Size

14,500 sq. ft.


Architecture/Engineering Services, Construction (GC)

Project Overview

  • Interior Architectural Design and Construction of specialized interior program areas, many with high security and mechanical requirements to serve sensitive government investigations.

  • Design and Construction of substantial electrical improvements including an increase to the electrical substation from 300 kva to 1,050 kva.

  • Sustainable Design implementation: installation of recycled content products, LED light fixtures, room occupancy sensors.

  • Design and Construction of complex plumbing and mechanical systems accommodating programmatic requirements such as lab gasses supply, lab gas purity controls, incorporation of Fume Hoods and thermal & humidity control of spaces.

The San Juan based US Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) Laboratories needed to be relocated from La Puntilla, Old San Juan to an existing federal government owned building, GSA Center, in Guaynabo, PR. Delivered under an agreement with Division 16, LLC, the project created a space for a full-service analytical laboratory equipped with the latest state-of-the-art scientific instruments for chemical and material’s testing as well as its administration area.


With a total area of approximately 14,500 sf, this facility serves as a full-service analytical laboratory and is equipped with the latest state-of-the-art scientific instruments for chemical and physical testing. The laboratories include forensic support to CBP Officers, Border Patrol and ICE Agents for latent print lifting, crime scene investigation and evidence collection, analysis of unknowns and suspected controlled substances, photography, audio and video duplication, data extraction from media and cellular phones, and expert witness testimony, among others.


The project required Lead and Asbestos Mitigation and structural, electrical and plumbing retrofits as well as substantial HVAC and ventilation work in order to achieve full compliance with the latest applicable codes (Uniform Building Code, ADA and Fire Code) and CBP requirements. The functional design of services of the mechanical system and plumbing systems included the use of a variable air flow design incorporating VAVs, fume hoods and HVAC controls for very precise monitoring of air quality, humidity and temperature.


Due to the design criteria, substantial electrical improvements were required. As part of a major electrical upgrade, the existing electrical substation was increased from 300 kva to 1,050 kva in order to provide the proper power requirements for all equipment. In addition to the substation’s upgrade, GSA Center’s point of connection was upgraded/moved from its current 4.16 kv service to a new 13.2 kv services, in order to comply with PREPA requirements.


The project also included exterior improvements, including but not limited to vehicular parking spaces, accessibility improvements, paint and outdoor lighting, as well as physical security equipment and infrastructure, including but not limited to, CCTV, Intrusion Detection, Access Control, Perimeter Security Fencing, as required by CBP Internal Affairs (IA) Security Management Division (SMD). Although not LEED Certified, multiple energy conservation methods were used, including natural ventilation, lighting controls, water conservation and material recycling.

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