Smith LaRock Architecture (SLA) specializes in the design of 24/7 industrial facilities for the process control industry.

If you’re refining crude oil, processing, and delivering gas, manufacturing base plastics, distributing power and utilities, or manufacturing a product, you have a need for buildings that support your processes and safety requirements.  Our design process can help you operate more safely and be more profitable in doing so.

At SLA, we know it‘s a different world inside your fence line.  Safety is first and your processes depend on your people.  Your building projects need the experience and support of an architecture firm recognized for our 20 years of experience.

Whether your needs are:

  • A new blast-resistant control building
  • a QM/QC laboratory
  • a maintenance shop
  • a power utility distribution operations center
  • a plant emergency response center
  • or even a Warehouse or Office Building

SLA can help you define the scope, visualize the design with our 3D design techniques, estimate the probable costs, and develop the construction documents so it may be built. We have a design process that works.

Blast resistant or non-blast;  Our goal primary goals are to promote Safety, Alertness and Vigilance so the Users and CROs can efficiently contribute to the Company’s profitability and ROI.

power utility DOC

Your project is unique.  It has it’s own set of hurdles to overcome and goals to achieve.  It’s critical to engage a qualified design firm who speaks YOUR language like Smith LaRock Architecture.

Let us guide you through the design process.

Let us help make sure your project is clearly defined before design commitments are made.  The project embraces the desired solution.  Competitive pricing can be received from your bid process.

As a specialized architectural design firm, Smith LaRock can help you make more informed decisions. That’s our value.  

It all starts with a conversation... us. We're here to help!

It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, or what processes you’re controlling.  Smith LaRock Architecture applies proven design principals and industry best practices to all of your building types.  


  • Refining (Oil & Gas)
  • Chemical manufacturing
  • Power Utilities (electric, gas & water)
  • Pipeline control
  • Energy
  • LNG
  • Manufacturing
  • Sterilization


  • Command & Control
  • Administration & Office
  • Terminal, Jetty & Wharf Control
  • Laboratories
  • EMS & Fire
  • Maintenance & Warehouse
  • Security & Guard Centers
  • Multi-Purpose Buildings
  • Blast & Non-Blast Facilities
power utility DOC
SLA Power Utility DOC Control Room
SLA Control Room Design


Our goal:  to promote Safety, Alertness and Vigilance.

In these safety-first environments operator fatigue and complacency can have dire effects.

This is why SLA incorporates key human factors, along with years of control room design experience.

We know how to properly address acoustics, lighting, ventilation and communication workflow that improves your process and safety for the entire plant.

Click here to see more command & control


Your people are your #1 asset.

Give them a place to work, to be proud of and enhance their work environment for better efficiency and production.

Better work environments aids in recruiting and better retention.

Click here to see more administration & office

central control building hallway
Multi-Purpose Building Lunch Room

Terminal | Jetty | Wharf Control

Having a hard time coming up with a control building solution at your maritime terminal?  Are you constrained by the high costs and difficulty for stick building over the water?

SLA has a solution for you – Design the building to be constructed on land so it can be lifted and barged to the terminal location.

See our case study project that helped the owner reduce costs and schedule.  We took a completely different approach to typical construction procedures.

Thinking outside the box wasn’t enough.  So we reinvented the box.

Click here to see more Terminal Control Buildings


If you’re controlling processes, you’re likely performing QC & compliance testing.

Industrial laboratories are very different than educational labs.  They involve greater risk in terms of hazardous materials, larger quantities, and directly affect the production numbers.  This is why you can’t hire just anyone to design your laboratory.  Through the years of building relationships with industrial clients, SLA has developed a streamlined design process for laboratories.

We know the building and fire codes so you can separate out high-hazard retains from low-hazard lab operations that help keep costs down while improving safety and optimizing workflow.

Whether you’re planning a new lab, upgrading an old lab, or relocating the building due to facility siting requirements – SLA has you covered.

Click here to see more laboratories


More often than not, your plant has it’s own emergency medical services and fire response teams.  Local municipalities may not exist, or they’re not equipped nor trained to respond to emergencies at your facility.  So it’s critical that your EMS & Fire have the facilities they need to do their jobs.

SLA utilizes a unique design process for EMS & Fire facilities to define the scope and identify all of the needs for these specialized buildings.

Often EMS and Fire are combined into multi-purpose buildings that house not only fire apparatus and equipment, but offices, emergency operation centers (EOC’s), first aid and medical treatment.

Click here to see more EMS & Fire


Maintenance Shops & Warehouses may seem like a large garden shed.  But like a laboratory, these buildings are specialized and complex.  They require specialized utilities and systems needed to support these maintenance and storage operations.  Poor building layout and workflow can be detrimental to operations which costs time and money.

Hazardous materials and material handling is another aspect of these buildings that must be addressed to optimize efficient workflow.

Specialized foundations for industrial fabrication equipment, material handling & conveying systems like overhead cranes, workstation jib cranes, fabrication rails, and utilities must be accounted for within the space plan while allowing for all required clearances & working areas.

Many shop and warehouse buildings will capitalize on the footprint and height of their building with a mezzanine or second floor area which serves the maintenance personnel.

Yes – SLA has designed maintenance shops & warehouse with blast-resistant attributes.  Contact us to learn more.

Click here to see more shops & warehouse

Blast Doors Shop Building
SLA Control Room Design


Blast-resistant design is typically a last option solution.  It’s costly in terms of design, engineering and construction, but may be the only viable solution.  When there’s no more real estate to move the new building outside of the blast radius, or it’s too costly to run DCS, fiber, utilities to beyond the blast zone; blast-resistant design and construction must be considered.

Protecting the occupants, processes and control operations within a blast building is critical, but there are other systems and building functionality that must be considered to maintain control during upsets, emergencies or abnormal conditions.

Safe-Haven classification  |  Toxic release mitigation | API RP-752 & API RP-753 compliance

SLA and it’s structural consultants have many years of experience with blast-resistant design, the blast-hardening of existing structures, and facility siting support.

Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about your building assessment or blast-resistant design.

Click here to see more Blast-Resistant Design

It all starts with a conversation... us. We're here to help!

Human Factors & Design

LP – Human Factors & Design

Architect: Myth vs Reality

LP – Architect: Myth vs Reality

Case Study – Power Utility DOC (Distributions Operations Center)

LP – Power Utility: DOC – Distribution Operations Center

Acoustic Design in Control Centers

LP – Acoustical Design in Control Centers

Design for Success

LP – Design for Success

Predesign Checklist

Time to get your project started?  Don’t let one of these items hold up your project, extend your schedule or overextend your budget. Where’s your checklist?  Are you prepared to start the project and engage the architect and engineers?  Do you have all the relevant information they’ll need to hit the ground running?  Does your […]

Terminal/ Wharf Control Buildings Case Study

Learn how we designed a terminal control building to be built on land, shipped to the sea, and dropped into place by boat. Maritime safety regulations and requirements caused higher construction costs and extended time lines.  SLA and its consultants developed an approach that would mitigate these hurdles by designing a building to be built […]

2021 Award – Industry Era Review: Smith LaRock Architecture P.C.


RFP Writing Services

RFP Writing Services

Do you need an Architect?

LP – Do you need an Architect?