Norwalk Police Headquarters
The headquarters for the Norwalk Department of Police Services in Norwalk, CT is a truly state-of the art facility. Doubling as the city’s emergency communication center in the event of a disaster, the structure was designed to withstand the highest level hurricanes and earthquakes that the region could face. The 60,000 square foot facility opened in 2005 with a construction cost of $15 million. Comprised of two connected structures, the three-story administration building houses the police department’s offices, administrative services, and detention cells, while the two-story structure contains an 85-foot long indoor firing range as well as four garage bays. The buildings are steel-framed structures supported on concrete spread footings. The floor systems are comprised of composite concrete elevated slabs on steel beams and columns.
The design of the building lead to several interesting structural challenges. First, the walls of the elevated firing range had to resist the impact of the live ammunition which might hit them. For this reason, the walls were designed with solid-grouted masonry blocks; the interior of the walls was then fitted with ½” thick steel plate all around. Second, the detention areas and holding cells demanded a high level of security. Again, solid-grouted masonry blocks were utilized; each cell was then capped with precast concrete plank ceilings. Additionally, because of the skewed shape of the building, seismic and wind lateral forces had to be analyzed on two sets of orthogonal axes to ensure structural stability. This stability is provided by masonry shear walls, making use of the block housing the firing range and detention cells.
Ryan Preston was the project manager for the design of the police headquarters while with the DiSalvo Ericson Group.