McClaren, Wilson & Lawrie’s design approach is enriched by our extensive background in the planning and design of public safety and forensic science facilities throughout the United States and Canada. Whether you are in need of a new build, renovation, addition or adaptive reuse project, MWL is able to meet your needs.

Space Needs Assessments

The needs assessment document is crucial to the success of the eventual facility design. MWL’s needs assessment process can’t be accomplished without the participation of the users and the client. Preliminary findings and validation meetings assure that needs are accurately defined and any policy issues are identified early in the process.

The space needs study answers these fundamental questions:

  • What size should the facility be?
  • How much future expansion should be anticipated and when will it be needed?
  • How will emerging technology impact infrastructure needs?
  • How will evolving management structures impact space needs?
  • How much should be budgeted today?
  • How much should be budgeted in the future?
  • What financing strategies may be available to deliver the project?
  • Where should the facility be located?

Master Planning

MWL assists our clients by coordinating the requests and requirements of all of a project’s vested parties into one cohesive master plan. A master plan is an overarching planning document and spatial layout which aids clients in seeing the big picture. Being able to look beyond the here and now ensures the design of your facility will not only cater to your immediate needs but also to your future requirements.

Feasibility Studies

MWL is available to conduct feasibility studies for public safety and forensic science projects of any size. Our feasibility studies are always tailored to meet a client’s needs.

During the study, a thorough analysis of relevant factors to be taken into account is performed in order to test the extent of constraints, the potentials of the site, space program, available building technology, sustainability and the means of utilizing the budget to maximum effect. Options are then developed, compared and a preferred option is established. We aim to produce a document that will guide our client’s through the next stages of their project.

Site Planning (Analysis & Selection)

A thorough analysis of a potential site is essential to achieving a successful site master planning outcome. Multiple alternatives, to determine the best path forward, may be developed. We work tenaciously to find or develop creative ways to determine the most advantageous option from an all things considered perspective.


During programming, MWL will conduct a thorough and systematic evaluation of the client’s goals and needs. MWL’s programming method emphasizes User and Owner participation throughout the entire process. A successful process will balance quality and value with function and durability, and lead to a high-quality design.

The program will define anticipated staffing and equipment needs, square footage, types and uses of interior rooms and areas, anticipated exterior and outbuilding features, and future expansion, as well as aesthetic goals for the project. Mechanical and electrical requirements are also included.


The design process transforms ideas into the three-dimensional reality. MWL’s objective is to design a facility that balances your goals with any possible constraints. We successfully deliver design services to assist our clients in the creation of, or renovation of existing facilities resulting in a complete set of drawings to begin construction.

Owner’s Technical Advisor

Perhaps the biggest decision to be made in any design and construction project involves the selection of the A/E team and the right building delivery method for your project. MWL routinely provides consultation services directly to the Owners. We assist in the development of the RFP for procurement of local design, engineering and project management and selection of the most qualified team. We present the pros and cons of the various building delivery options available. We also provide expertise regarding specialty detailing, equipment selection and support during construction phases.

Construction Administration

During construction administration we act as the client’s agent to ensure the design is carried out in construction as it was planned; thus protecting the integrity of the design. Our role could include the review of shop drawings and submittals, conducting period site visits, answering questions and providing clarification as needed. MWL commits principal and senior staff member involvement throughout the project, including construction.