Durham County Human Services Complex

Designing a Complex to Consolidate Multiple Departments
Durham, North Carolina

We worked as a sub consultant to The Freelon Group to design and construct a facility that would allow Durham County to consolidate departments, which were previously spread across multiple, deficient buildings. The centrally located complex improves service and efficiency for the department. The facility is made up of four modules, which surround a courtyard. Three of the four modules—north, east, and west—are three stories high, while the south module is three stories plus a basement level, containing parking, mechanical areas, and loading docks.




structural drawings

For this two-phase project, we provided structural engineering and demolition/bid construction services. The first phase included construction of the south- and east-facing modules, which was followed by the demolition of the existing social services building. The north and west modules and the courtyard were constructed during phase two.

Structural design elements included a braced frame lateral system, basement retaining walls, foundation retaining walls, clerestory roofs, complex building exterior walls, monumental stairs, raised floor systems, skylights, and large cantilevered roofs and balconies. The building has a cutting-edge terra cotta panel exterior.


Durham County, North Carolina


The Freelon Group (Now Perkins + Will)


LEED® Gold

Square Footage

277,000 SF


$56 million


  • Engineering


  • Community Facilities


  • Southeast