San Diego County Sheriff’s Crime Laboratory

San Diego Crime Lab smithgroup

The San Diego Sheriff’s Department is one of the largest in the U.S., with a service area that covers approximately 4,200 square miles. The Crime Laboratory provides forensic science service to more than 30 law enforcement agencies.


County of San Diego Crime Lab


San Diego, California


Architecture, Forensic, Lab Planning, Landscape Architecture, MEP Engineering, Programming, Science & Technology, Forensic


158,000 SF

Featured Awards

American Institute of Architects - Academy of Architecture for Justice (AAJ), 2019


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Engineering News-Record (ENR), California Award of Merit Green Project, 2019

San Diego Crime Lab smithgroup

One building with a defined footprint. Three Sheriff’s office divisions with distinctly different needs for ground-level space. Multiple user groups moving through the facility, each separate and secure. To solve a puzzle like that, SmithGroup pulled together an integrated team of specialists in interiors, engineering, planning and architecture from its offices across the country, who understand the unique requirements of law enforcement and forensics facilities.

The resulting County of San Diego facility created a state-of-the-art building for three key divisions—Crime Laboratory, Major Crimes, and Property & Evidence—with a carefully choreographed design that responds to their very specific needs.

San Diego Crime Lab smithgroup

The building design allows for a secure and efficient flow in and out of the building at grade, with separate entrances for criminal evidence, suspects, the general public and other disparate entities.

San Diego Crime Lab smithgroup
San Diego Crime Lab smithgroup