The U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently opened its new analytical laboratory and office complex near the Port of Savannah in coastal Georgia. The firm selected to design this high-tech, secure facility was CDH Partners—an architectural and design practice located in Marietta, Georgia. The project design team incorporated sustainable design strategies that led to the facility being awarded a LEED Silver Certification. It also received the Award of Excellence in the Low Rise category from the Georgia Chapter ACI awards.
CDH provided full professional services that included architectural, engineering and interior design for the project. The 38,100 square foot one-story facility contains 12 state-of-the-art laboratories including level 100 and 1000 clean rooms, a garage/warehouse, five analyst team offices with breakout areas and a conference room. The Customs and Border Protection Agency opened the 25 million dollar laboratory as a replacement for a much smaller facility. Customs officials use this location to analyze imported merchandise ranging from raw chemical products to finished manufactured goods, such as clothing and steel products, as well as controlled substances and contraband imported in violation of U.S. laws.
“Millions of tax dollars are at stake,” says a spokesperson in a recent article published by GPB News, “It’s not just food and toys. Shoes, handbags and all types of clothing are taxed at varying rates depending on their materials. The lab tests those microscopic fibers. Some of the work done at the Savannah crime lab has led to nationwide product recalls. It investigates trade and law enforcement cases at ports from Philadelphia to Key West.”
The design practice of CDH Partners, Inc., was founded in 1977. The Marietta firm was named after its three founding partners, Bill Chegwidden, Don Dorsey, and Chuck Holmes. Over the years, it has repeatedly been recognized as one of the top most progressive architectural firms in Atlanta, the southeast, and the country.