Sustainable Courthouse Receives Positive Verdict
The $92-million Franklin County Common Pleas Courthouse in Columbus, Ohio, makes a sound case for sustainable design by incorporating elements that reduce the facility's annual energy consumption by 25% and annual water consumption by 1 million gallons, relative to the performance of more traditional courthouse buildings.
As such, the seven-story, 325,000-sq-ft structure is currently a candidate for LEED-Gold certification, a designation that would make it the greenest facility of its kind in Ohio. The building also promotes resource conservation in surrounding Columbus. Its climate-control equipment, for instance, is designed to share the burden for heating and cooling with systems in neighboring facilities.Low-flow and dual-flush plumbing fixtures minimize the facility's environmental impact.
While a daylight harvesting system harnesses natural light, exterior aluminum sun shades minimize glare and heat gain. The facility's 5,000-sq-ft green roof absorbs rainwater, with excess precipitation stored in a 200,000-gallon collection tank in an onsite park. The water is filtered to a drip irrigation system that supports the surrounding landscape and a variety of native plants, all of which are suited to the local climate. The building's brightly colored materials reduce heat loads, as does the facility's white roof, an element that also minimizes heat-island effect.
During the design phase, the project team gathered feedback from magistrates to construct a full-scale, finished courtroom mock-up, then invited the judges to return for a second assessment upon the mock-up's completion.
After selecting plans that best met budgetary and programming objectives, the entire project team gathered for a two-day seminar in Franklin County. Among other benefits, the gathering fostered a climate of interdisciplinary communication and established a framework for problem resolution. Daily conversations among contractors and weekly discussions between the owner and architect helped the project team maintain a collaborative environment throughout the project.
Courthouse makes a sound case for sustainable design by incorporating elements that reduce the facility's annual energy consumption by 25% and annual water consumption by 1 million gallons.
Developer/Owner: Franklin County, Ohio
CM/GC: Gilbane Building Co., Providence, R.I.
Architect: Design Group, Columbus, Ohio
Structural Engineer: Shelley Metz Baumann Hawk, Columbus, Ohio
M/E/P Engineer: Heapy Engineering, Dayton, Ohio
Submitted by: Gilbane Building Co.
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