21 Best20 HEC20 Exterior2002

Houston Emergency Center

The largest consolidated public safety communication complex

Project Facts

Location Houston, Texas
Owner City of Houston
Size 128,000 SF
Cost $53 million
Status Completed 2002


Responding to 3.6 million emergency calls annually, the modular complex includes a situation room with state-of-the-art technology, an auditorium, press room, and other facilities for administration, operations, as well as dispatch. Operators can maintain constant communication with emergency personnel, including over 85 fire stations throughout 850 square miles.

HEC20 Exterior2009203x52030020dpi

21 Best20 HEC20 Interior2002203x52030020dip

21 Best20 HEC20 Interior2008205x320300dpi

1 / 1

About the project

City of Houston’s 911 dispatch responds to 3.6 million police, fire, and medical emergency calls yearly. Due to the critical importance of accurate, speedy communications in emergency situations, city officials consolidated these services from three separate facilities into one to improve communications coordination and information management systems. The building systems have 24/7 redundancy, a situation room with state-of-the-art technology, auditorium/press room, and administration/operations/dispatch.

Careful consideration was given to the design of the facility, the call center is located above the computer room for optimal access to cabling enabling equipment maintenance without disrupting operations. Noise control was an important consideration and was addressed through workstation configuration and acoustical buffers, and given the long hours dispatchers work in stressful situations, the use of natural light was essential. The structure was designed and hardened for hurricane winds up to 150mph.