According to Douglas County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Stan Copeland, the facility, at 8470 Earl D. Lee Blvd., has received the coveted Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED certification, for new construction.
The certification was presented by the U.S. Green Building Council and represents one of the first large-scale new construction adult detention facility and law enforcement centers in Georgia to achieve this recognition, Copeland said. This certification acknowledges that the facility has attained internationally-accepted standards for an energy efficient structure.
“This is an outstanding accomplishment because we took the appropriate measures to make sure this building was energy efficient and environmentally friendly,” Copeland said.
The sustainable design helps the structure achieve an 18 percent reduction in energy use.
“This will generate significant cost savings for county taxpayers,” Copeland said.
Since its inception in 1993, the U.S. Green Building Council has grown to encompass more than 7,000 projects in the US.
The detention facility has a capacity of 1,500 beds in two-person cells.
“These are pre-fabricated steel cells, which allows us to more quickly finish construction but still maintain a high security design,” Copeland said. As a county facility, he said, the detention facility houses inmates ranging from those who have minor traffic violations to those who are facing a possible death penalty, he said.
“We average some 750 inmates daily at the facility,” he said. It is important that the detention center use less energy, especially in a building that can house up to 1,500 inmates.
“This detention center is like a small city,” Copeland said. “We use energy for water, gas and electricity and if I can reduce it significantly over the life of the structure, think of the savings to our taxpayers.”
The year-old detention facility and law enforcement building is constructed to last at least 40 years, Copeland said.
Douglas County voters approved a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax in 2009 for the construction of a new law enforcement center and adult jail.
Copeland said planning and design of the building began in March of 2010 with construction beginning the following November.
He said the structure was completed and in use last year.