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9.7 Electrical Systems

Robert C. Byrd Courthouse, Charleston, WV
Robert C. Byrd Courthouse,
Charleston, WV

GSA will provide emergency and secondary power distributed as a basic requirement.

Normal building distribution systems should be designed to comply with Chapter 6. They will include a special electrical distribution system, consisting of an isolation transformer with associated branch circuit distribution equipment, and should be designed to serve the data network system and associated equipment supporting non-linear loads.

Uninterruptible power will be provided to serve localized security, emergency smoke evacuation, and any other critical systems. This system should also be connected to the emergency power distribution system. (Other UPS for equipment is to be provided by tenants with their equipment.)

Spare Capacity. General design requirements for office and courtroom areas should be based on anticipated loads and requirements outlined in Chapter 6. The capacity of the feeders serving all areas of the building needs to accommodate growth to the extent shown in the 30 year long range plan for the facility.

Number of Outlets. The number of outlets provided in U.S. Court Facilities should be in accordance with: Table 9-3, Electrical Power Requirement/Outlets, electrical codes and good practice.

Grounding. The GSA will provide grounding as indicated in Chapter 6.

Clean Power. It is not economical, or convenient, to provide electrical supply from back-up generators and/or a central UPS to a small proportion of outlets in office areas. However, every desk in the courthouse is likely to support PC’s or other data/telecommunication equipment, and “clean” (dedicated service with no harmonies or spikes) desk circuits should be protected by excluding “dirty” loads (such as large photocopiers and vacuum cleaners).

On-Floor Electrical Distribution
Most areas of the courthouse may incorporate underfloor horizontal distribution systems. Final horizontal distribution plans will be designed considering potential EMI/RFI sources. (Access floor areas will comply with Chapter 6.)

Emergency and UPS Power Systems
Service and Distribution. Emergency and normal electrical panels, conduit, and switchgear will be installed separately, at different locations, and as far apart as possible. Electrical distribution should also run at separate locations.

Conduit and lines need to be installed on the exterior of the building to allow use of a trailer-mounted generator to connect to the building’s electrical system. This will be regarded as a tertiary source of power for systems in the building where operational continuity is critical. (An operational plan should be in place to provide this service quickly when needed.)

Emergency power will be derived from generators sized to carry the required loads. Generators should be synchronized to serve a common distribution board which, in turn, serves appropriate automatic transfer switches (ATS) and the fire pump. Separate ATS should be provided for the Life Safety/Security System, UPS system, and essential systems. (Essential systems will serve the ventilation and equipment loads required for personnel and building protection in the event of a commercial power failure or other catastrophic event.)

Discussions should be held early in the design process on a U.S. Court facility project to determine whether UPS is required for any function at the facility.

If a building-wide UPS system is provided, the system should serve the building distribution system at 208Y/120V. This system will have an output at 208Y/120V distributed through the building by a UPS power riser in each on-floor electric room. Taps from the riser will provide power to on-floor transformers and branch panels in each electric room to serve on-floor loads requiring UPS power. (Connected loads on the UPS power system may include PABX, computer and local equipment rooms.)

Coordination with Telecommunication System Design
Electrical power distribution for the various areas of U.S. Court facilities should be coordinated with the design of the telecommunication powering/grounding systems to improve the overall integrity of the telecommunications utility. As technology continues to increase in speed/performance, better distribution coordination becomes necessary. If this is not done, the grounding systems will not operate efficiently at the higher frequency ground currents, reducing the integrity of the telecom utility (creating errors in transmission, etc.).

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Table 9-3
Electrical Power Requirements/Outlets
Note: This table is comprehensive, but may not be complete as needs and systems change over time and from court to court. These requirements are in addition to those described in Chapter 6.

LOCATION EQUIPMENT/OUTLET(S) NOTES
COURTROOMS  
Judge’s Bench Quadriplex receptacle for general purpose use; Duplex receptacle for computer, monitor; additional duplex receptacle for video arraignment.  
Courtroom Duplex outlet with dedicated circuit for portable magnetometer. Branch circuits will be provided for additional loads dictated by the Courts.  
Court Clerk Workstation One quadriplex receptacle (general use) and one duplex receptacle for PC and monitor per clerk position. Printers as a group.
Court Reporter’s Workstation One quadriplex receptacle (general use), one duplex receptacle for reporter’s computer/CRT. Provide additional duplex
receptacle(s) at alternate CR
position(s) in the courtroom.
Witness Box One duplex receptacle.  
Jury Box One quadriplex receptacle for general purpose use. Mounted on inside of jury box enclosure.
Attorney Tables One quadriplex receptacle (general use) per attorney table position. Recessed floor box.
Spectator Seating One duplex outlet at front rail (“bar”) for computer/monitor for CRT or other use. Mounted on spectator side of rail enclosure.
Equipment Room/Area Multiple outlets (as required) for sound, ALS, data, telecommunication and video recording and presentation equipment.  
Other Duplex outlets at 20’ intervals along the walls of courtroom. Duplex outlets at two locations (min.) in front of bench millwork. Additional outlets at appropriate locations for ceiling-mounted screen, fixed and/or movable positions for slide projector, video monitor, video recorder, interactive white-board and image copier, and x-ray viewer equipment. Locate floor boxes for multiple possible locations of a lectern and/or alternative locations for attorney tables. Provide additional outlets for initial/future location of video cameras. Provide outlet for wall-mounted clock. Provide outlet(s) for ALS unit(s). Provide outlets as required for video conferencing/arraignment equipment, video monitors/VCR equipment, security, and so on. The courtroom well will have
a suspended access floor
system for flexible location
of outlets.

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Additional Electrical Power Requirement/Outlet Information

LOCATION EQUIPMENT/OUTLET(S) NOTES
COURT SUPPORT  
Witness Waiting Rooms Distributed convenience outlets, including provisions for cleaning/housekeeping.  
Attorney/Client Conference Distributed convenience outlets, including provisions for cleaning/housekeeping and for audiovisual equipment (monitor/VCR).  
Public Waiting Areas Distributed convenience outlets, including provisions for cleaning/housekeeping. Provide outlets for clock. Duplex outlet with dedicated circuit for magnetometer outside sound lock.  
Media Area(s) Distributed convenience outlets, including provisions for cleaning equipment and motor loads. Provide separately metered power outlets for news agencies telecast equipment.  
Law Clerk Office One quadriplex receptacle (general use). Duplex outlet(s), two minimum, for PC, monitor, printer, FAX. Computer and office equipment
(PC, monitor, printer) not in
FF&E budget.
Court Reporter Office One quadriplex receptacle (general use). Duplex outlet(s), two minimum, for PC, monitor, printer, FAX. Computer and office equipment
(PC, monitor, printer) not in
FF&E budget.
Judicial Conference Room(s) Distributed convenience outlets. Provide outlets as required for video conferencing/arraignment equipment, video monitors/VCR equipment, security, sound-system, ALS and other equipment, based on anticipated locations of equipment. Computer and office equipment
(PC, monitor, printer) not in
FF&E budget.
JUDICIAL CHAMBERS  
Judge’s Chambers Quadriplex receptacle for general purpose use. Two duplex receptacles for miscellaneous uses (TV monitor, slide projector use, etc.). Two duplex receptacles for PC, monitor, printer and other computer equipment. Additional duplex receptacle for video arraignment and FAX equipment where required (initial/future use). Duplex outlets for PC and
monitor positions to be located
in multiple positions (based on likely furniture placement).
Computer and office equipment
(PC, monitor, printer) not in
FF&E budget.
Secretary/ Judicial Assistant One quadriplex receptacle (general use). Duplex outlet(s), two minimum, for PC, monitor, printer, FAX.  
Work Area Quadriplex receptacle for general purpose use. Duplex outlets for coffee machine, microwave unit, refrigerator, based on equipment/furniture layouts. Additional outlet(s) for copier. Equipment not included in base building budget. Refrigerator
included in FF&E budget. Other
equipment (PC, monitor,
printer, FAX, copier, etc.) not
in FF&E budget.

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Electrical Power Requirement/Outlets (continued)

LOCATION EQUIPMENT/OUTLET(S) NOTES
JUDICIAL CHAMBERS (continued)  
Reference/Conference
General
Provide outlets for video conferencing, TV monitor, projectors.Distributed convenience outlets in reception/waiting and general office areas. Provide outlets for floor-cleaning equipment and motor loads. Provide outlets as required for video conferencing/arraignment equipment, security, sound-system, ALS or other equipment, based on anticipated locations of equipment. Computer and office equipment (PC, monitor, printer, FAX, copier, etc.) not in FF&E budget.
TRIAL JURY SUITE(S)  
Jury Deliberation Room Distributed convenience outlets, including provisions for cleaning/housekeeping. Outlets (GFI) on separate circuit for kitchen type service unit equipment (microwave, coffee maker). Outlets for film/ slide projection equipment, TV monitor and VCR, audio tape recorder/player. Outlet for wall-mounted clock. Computer and office equipment (PC, monitor, printer) not in FF&E budget.
Other areas Distributed convenience outlets, including provisions for cleaning/housekeeping. GFI in toilet areas, per codes.
GRAND JURY  
Witness Box Duplex receptacle.  
Jury Seating Convenience outlets, including provisions for cleaning equipment and motor loads.  
Court Reporter’s Workstation One quadriplex receptacle (general use), one duplex receptacle for reporter’s computer/CRT. Provide additional duplex
receptacle(s) at alternate
court reporter position(s)
if applicable.
Attorney Tables One quadriplex receptacle (general use). Recessed floor box, if appropriate. Foreperson One quadriplex receptacle (general use). Recessed floor box,
if appropriate.
Other areas Distributed convenience outlets, including provisions for cleaning/housekeeping. GFI in toilet areas, per codes.
General Distributed convenience outlets, including provisions for cleaning/housekeeping. Outlets (GFI) on separate circuit for kitchen type service unit equipment (microwave, coffee maker). Outlets for film/ slide projection equipment, TV monitor and VCR, audio tape recorder/player. Outlet for wall-mounted clock. Power for sound, video system, if any. Computer and office equipment PC, monitor, printer) not in
FF&E budget.

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LOCATION EQUIPMENT/OUTLET(S) NOTES
GRAND JURY (continued)  
Other areas Distributed convenience outlets, including provisions for cleaning/housekeeping. GFI in toilet areas, per codes.
JURY ASSEMBLY  
Jury Assembly Room Distributed convenience outlets. Provide outlets as required for video conferencing equipment, video monitors/VCR equipment, security, sound-system, ALS and other equipment, based on anticipated locations. Provide outlets for use at carrels and tables for jurors for personal use. Computer and office equipment (PC, monitor, printer) not in FF&E budget.
Jury Clerk Workstation(s) One quadriplex receptacle (general use). Duplex outlet(s), two minimum, for PC, monitor, printer, FAX. Computer and office equipment (PC, monitor, printer) not in FF&E budget.
Other Area(s) Distributed convenience outlets, including provisions for cleaning equipment/motor loads.  
LAW LIBRARY  
Circulation Desk Outlets for PC, other equipment. Distributed convenience outlets.  
Public Waiting Areas Distributed convenience outlets, including provisions for cleaning/housekeeping.  
Entry Control Security equipment. Distributed convenience outlets, including provisions for cleaning/housekeeping. Recessed floor box, if/as required.
Staff Offices One quadriplex receptacle (general use). Duplex outlet(s), two minimum (for PC, monitor, printer, FAX) per workstation. Computer and office equipment (PC, monitor, printer) not in FF&E budget.
Staff Work Areas Distributed convenience outlets; quadriplex receptacle(s) for general purpose use. Additional outlet(s) for copier. Computer and office equipment (PC, monitor, printer) not in FF&E budget.
CALR Areas Duplex outlet(s), two minimum (for PC, monitor, printer, FAX) per workstation. Recessed floor box, if/as required.
Carrel/Casual Seating Areas Distributed convenience outlets. Provide outlets for use at carrels and tables.  
Conference/ Group Study/Work Rooms Multiple outlets (as required) for sound, ALS, data, telecommunication and video recording and presentation equipment. Duplex outlet for Microfiche machine.  

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Electrical Power Requirement/Outlets (continued)

LOCATION EQUIPMENT/OUTLET(S) NOTES
CLERK OF COURT AREAS  
Counter Work positions One quadriplex receptacle (general use); duplex outlet(s), two minimum, for PC, monitor, printer, FAX; per workstation. Provide additional outlet(s) for cash registers, additional printers, shared-access PCs, printers. Computer and office equipment (PC, monitor, printer) not in FF&E budget.
Public Waiting/
Document Viewing Areas
Provide duplex outlet(s) for public access PCs, monitor, printer, and FAX equipment. Provide outlet(s) on separate circuits for public access copier(s). Computer and office equipment (PC, monitor, printer) not in FF&E budget.
Other staff Workstations One quadriplex receptacle (general use). Duplex outlet(s), two minimum, for PC, monitor, printer, FAX. Computer and office equipment (PC, monitor, printer) not in FF&E budget.
Shared staff work Areas Distributed convenience outlets; quadriplex receptacle(s) for general purpose use. Additional outlet(s) for copier(s), FAX equipment, etc. Computer and office equipment (PC, monitor, printer) not in FF&E budget.
Staff Break Areas Distributed convenience outlets, including provisions for cleaning/housekeeping. Outlets (GFI) on separate circuit for kitchen type service unit equipment (microwave, coffee maker). Equipment not included in
base building or FF&E budget.
Other Area(s) Distributed convenience outlets, including provisions for cleaning equipment and motor loads.  
COURT-RELATED AGENCIES/ SPACES
  Similar to Court Clerk/Court Administrative areas above.  
NOTE:
(1) For all electrical power and outlet requirements in USMS dedicated spaces, refer to USMS-RSSPSSM.
(2) The power outlet requirements for each project should be verified.

A secure, air-conditioned data/telecommunications closet should be located near the judges’ chambers, courtroom, and court offices to contain network equipment. (The use of cable trays rather than conduits needs to be considered.)

Lighting Systems
Illumination levels, lighting types, and lighting controls in specific court functional areas are provided in the USCDG. In all other spaces, illumination levels and lighting controls will be provided as specified in Chapter 6. Task lighting must be variable to 100 FTC (1100 lx).

Color accuracy is of the highest priority in the courtroom. GSA will provide fixtures with accurate color rendition, and avoid the use of metal halide fixtures. The use of indirect pendant-mounted fluorescent fixtures provides good soft diffuse general lighting in a courtroom; complemented with recessed concentrated light sources at: the judge’s bench; the witness box; and attorneys’ tables. Lighting levels must consider the impact of courtroom finishes.

An override switch will be located at the judge’s bench and at the courtroom deputy clerk station to allow instantaneous over-ride of all dimming controls in an emergency.

The following lighting controls can be specified, depending upon the size of the courtroom, lighting arrangements, and lamp types:

  • A more complex lighting installation consisting of local, wall, box-type, electronic, silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR) dimmers; or
  • Remote electronic dimmers with pre-set lighting arrangements, for large courtrooms with high ceilings.

Control of lighting is the responsibility of the courtroom deputy clerk or another designated court officer and should be operated with a key. Light switches will not be accessible from the spectator seating area or witness box. Provision of integrated electronic controls should be considered with pre-set lighting schemes having integrated controls for: shading devices at windows and skylights; plus controls for presentation screens (if provided by the Courts). The controls should allow varying levels of light to suit the needs and desires of the courtroom participants.

Electronic ballasts for fluorescent lamps should not be used in areas that contain sensitive security devices, or special equipment that is sensitive to electronic interference, such as ALD infrared emitters.

Guidelines for site illumination are specified in Chapter 6. Lighting in parking areas must allow for identification of vehicle color, and the design should avoid the use of low-pressure sodium fixtures.

Emergency lighting for courtrooms and security areas, to include USMS detention facilities, will have built-in batteries plus emergency generator service.

Areas that require battery back up in the event of power failure to maintain camera and direct visual surveillance include:

  • Vehicular Sallyport;
  • Prisoner Sallyport and Movement Corridors;
  • Detention Cell Block areas;
  • Communications Center;
  • Prisoner Processing areas;
  • Squad Room;
  • Public Reception Rooms;
  • Prisoner-Attorney Interview room;
  • Court Holding Cell Areas;
  • Judge’s Chambers;
  • Interconnecting door from Public Corridors to
  • Controlled Corridors;
  • Command and Control Center; and
  • Courtrooms

Audio/Visual Systems in U.S. Court Facilities
All audio/visual design and technical requirements are indicated in the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AOUSC) Publication: Courtroom Technology Manual.

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