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County of Los Angeles

Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center

Working together under one roof, a unique collaboration among various agencies and institutions— Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, LAPD, CSULA School of Criminal Justice and Criminalistics, and California Criminalistics Institute— leverages resources and expertise in this state-of-the-art forensic center to improve public safety and to advance forensic science.

This project represents the largest single building municipal crime lab in the nation. Important features of the facility are efficiency, flexibility, operation, cost, security, land use, quality of architectural space, and character. The entire floor plate is adaptable to laboratory use. Crime lab functions include controlled substance, toxicology, blood alcohol, forensic biology/DNA, trace/arson, firearms ID, vehicle exam, questioned documents, and training.

The LEED Silver certified forensic facility’s many sustainable design features include high performance HVAC systems, enhanced indoor air quality, advanced daylighting controls, and recycled water for landscaping. The building beats California’s Title 24 energy code, which prescribes maximum energy per square foot, by 20 percent.

The building is sited to maximize penetration of natural light to interior spaces, providing north light for labs and south light for offices. To take advantage of the site topography and existing infrastructure, secure evidence intake and building servicing occur on the first floor accessed from the south. Staff and students enter on the second level approached from the north. Various measures are implemented to maintain security in this shared facility. A landscaped path leads to the main entry from the furthest extent of the parking area.

The crime lab is ASCLD/LAB and ISO17025 accredited.


Los Angeles, California


209,080 GSF


Needs assessment, including comprehensive pre-design program; laboratory planning and MEP engineering through CA; lab equipment planning


LEED Silver


Harley Ellis Devereaux

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