The District of Columbia’s Consolidated Forensics Laboratory (CFL) received LEED Platinum Certification this week from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the Department of General Services (DGS) announced today.
“The Department of General Services is honored to have received this prestigious certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, and I would like to congratulate our entire design, construction and project team for achieving this distinction,” said Brian J. Hanlon, DGS Director. “This certification showcases the agency’s dedication to build high quality, sustainable buildings for our sister agencies, residents, and visitors of the District of Columbia.”
According to the USGBC, LEED provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. The LEED program provides third-party verification of green buildings. Building projects satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification. Prerequisites and credits differ for each rating system, and teams choose the best fit for the project.
The Consolidated Forensic Laboratory (CFL) is a cutting-edge, award winning science facility designed to provide the District of Columbia with critical public safety and health science infrastructure. Co-locating the Department of Forensic Sciences (DFS) and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME), the CFL provides advanced laboratory and work facilities designed for the safety of the analysts and the public. The CFL went into operation in October 2012.
Some of the design features of the Consolidated Forensic Lab which lead to the LEED certification includes:
Energy and Atmosphere
• An orientation and a high performance, dynamic façade to reduce building energy loads. An automated louver system allows daylight and views to the administrative offices while significantly reducing solar heat gain and glare.
• The CFL uses high efficiency flush and flow fixtures to achieve 42 percent water savings. Stormwater management is a major concern in the District. The Lab’s extensive green roof and the reuse of the remaining stormwater runoff, for cooling tower make-up, translates into saving over two million gallons of potable water per year.
Indoor Environmental Quality:
• More than 90 percent of the Lab’s work areas have access to daylight and views. A high level of indoor air quality was maintained during construction and occupancy through the use of low emitting materials and high performance ventilation and filtration measures. A demountable partition system allows the office space to be easily reconfigured as the District Agencies’ needs change.
• Materials for the lab include 27 percent recycled content, 35 percent Regional and 76 percent certified wood. More than 90 percent of construction and demolition waste was diverted from landfills through recycling and salvage measures.
LEED is a point based system where building projects earn LEED points for satisfying specific green building criteria. Within each of the LEED credit categories, projects must satisfy particular prerequisites and earn points.
The categories include: Sustainable Sites (SS), Water Efficiency (WE), Energy and Atmosphere (EA), Materials and Resources (MR) and Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ). An additional category, Innovation in Design (ID), addresses sustainable building expertise as well as design measures not covered under the five environmental categories. The number of points the project earns determines the level of LEED Certification the project receives. LEED certification is available in four progressive levels: Certified; Silver; Gold and Platinum.
“The design initially was required to achieve LEED Gold, and we were within 2 points of achieving Platinum and we decided to go for it,” said June Locker, DGS Deputy Director for Capital Construction.
“To support the District’s commitment to sustainability, the Lab also features reduced parking, carpool and low emitting vehicle designated parking, bicycle parking and locker rooms, proximity to three Metro stations and multiple bus lines, and an allocation of the Green Power purchased by the District every year,” Director Hanlon said.
“We are particularly pleased that a lab, one of the most energy-intensive building types, was able to achieve the highest level of LEED Certification available,” said Bill Hellmuth, president and director of design HOK, the Architecture/Engineering firm for the CFL.
“It is a testament to the commitment of the District as well as the design and construction team to execute a high performance, high design project that not only exceeds the requirements of the DC Green Building Act, but blows them away,” Hellmuth said.
“Not only do we conduct excellent science inside the CFL but the building itself embodies the cutting edge of science and technology, helping to make the District a more environmentally sound and livable city,” said Dr. Max Houck, Director of the Department of Forensic Sciences.