Johnson County Sheriff's Office Crime Lab receives LEED Platinum certification

OLATHE, Kan. - The Johnson County Sheriff's Office Crime Lab is being recognized for its efforts in going green.

The facility received LEED Platinum certification this week as result of the building's innovative design that focuses on energy efficiency and environment conservation.

"Not many labs in the country can say they have this distinction," Crime Lab Director Gary Howell said. "We're one of the few that can."

The lab has solar panels on the roof, which provide additional light for the inside of the building. The building's design allows for an abundant amount of natural light to enter through windows and skylights, and the electrical lights have sensors that will automatically turn the light on or off as needed.

During construction of the building, a geothermal heating system was installed, which includes pipes that circulate air 500 feet into the ground. This keeps the air at an average temperature which then requires less energy to heat or cool.

The ventilation system also includes a recycling process where the heat from the air being released from the building is captured and circulated back into the HVAC units.

"We spend a lot of effort making sure that we're protecting the integrity of evidence and the protection of our scientists," Howell said. "And we've done it, very economical."

On average, the green initiatives saves the lab $150,000 a month.

"If you want to get some benefit, if you want to have some impact on environmental issues, you can have an impact with laborites," Howell said. "Making them more environmentally sound impacts the whole community."

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