The King County Automated Fingerprint Identification System and Sheriff’s Department Photography Lab has just received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification by the USGBC. The new forensic lab facilities were developed in an existing 1979 office building, reusing the existing structure and improving the building envelope to avoid significant new carbon impacts.
While clinical and forensic laboratories traditionally require significant energy consumption to maintain a safe environment for technicians and staff performing investigations, King County’s new AFIS Lab represents an achievable alternative. Thoughtful design of environmental systems and controls reduce energy consumption significantly without compromising safety or performance. Particularly notable for a laboratory facility, the project achieved all indoor air quality related credits while removing point source and other chemical contaminants. Lighting energy consumption is significantly reduced by taking advantage of daylighting and designing testing and analysis spaces in collaboration with end users. The existing building’s site design incorporates features to encourage alternative transportation options, increase native landscaping and contain storm water runoff. Additional notable LEED points include shower and bicycle storage facilities, and nearly 90 percent of construction waste was diverted for reuse and recycling.
The AFIS forensic lab design supports the wellness of technicians and staff, providing spaces designed for focusing on critical tasks and spaces that foster stress reduction, socialization and friendship. Designed to take advantage of the existing building’s window system provides controlled natural daylight and views to wooded areas and enhanced landscaping, a rare amenity in a laboratory environment. All areas offer flexible furnishings and a variety of work environments, so staff are not tethered to a single lab station or administrative office.
The creation of a sustainable facility must also address issues of equity and inclusion in the design and construction team. This project received innovation credits Social Equity in the Construction Team for the inclusion of apprentice labor and prevailing wages for all partners. Our team’s mechanical engineering and LEED consultants are JUST certified by the International Living Future Institute, demonstrating their commitment to diversity and equity within their firm and community.
The LEED Gold achievement is the result of a collaborative effort by King County and our expert team:
Western Ventures – General Contractor
O’Brien360 – Sustainability consultants
FSi – Mechanical engineering and LEED consultants
Säzän Group – Electrical engineering and Information & Communication Technology (ICT)
Project Delivery Analysts – Cost Analysts
David Evans & Associates – Civil engineering and Landscape Architects
Head over to our AFIS Case Study for additional project information.
The LEED® certification trademark is owned by the U.S. Green Building Council and is used with permission.