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High Performing Green Federal Courthouse On Schedule and On Budget

Image of exterior Salt Lake City Courthouse

The new U.S. Federal Courthouse located at 351 South West Temple, Salt Lake City, is on budget and on schedule. Thirty months into construction, the $186 million dollar project is scheduled to be complete in the spring of 2014.

“The new courthouse will allow the Courts and our other tenants to better accomplish their mission through increased security and occupancy needs,” said Susan Damour, Rocky Mountain Regional Administrator. “The facility will be sustainable, cost-effective, and functionally aesthetic with a focus of pride for the community it serves.”

The new courthouse will address a number of security and occupancy needs that are currently not possible in the existing courthouse. For example, the new facility will meet new blast-resistant and perimeter security standards set by Congress in 2001. It will also allow for the separate movement of judges, prisoners and visitors in the building, where the old courthouse often forced these groups to share the same elevators and hallways on their way to the courtrooms.

Originally the construction prospectus that GSA submitted to Congress had a funding request for $211 million to build and manage the construction of the courthouse. Because of the optimal timing of the bidding process in a slow economy, GSA was able to turn back $26 million.

The project has already surpassed its small business participation goal for 27% of subcontracts to be awarded. To date, more than 53% of subcontract work is being performed by small businesses – more than $67.2 million worth. This includes woman-owned, HUB-Zone and veteran-owned small businesses. Of the more than 85 companies, the majority are Utah owned and operated.

The courthouse is being built to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The project has diverted 85% of waste from landfills, the equivalent to about 50 tons of waste per month. In the early stages of construction, the project team salvaged 12,000 pounds of vintage building materials during demolition. Also, the historically significant Odd Fellows Building was relocated across the street, Fellows Building was relocated across the street, saving the entire building structure and avoiding almost 2,616 tons of building material from potentially being sent to the landfill.

The facility will be able to surpass industry standards by using 34% less energy than comparable buildings. Some of those sustainable practices include conserving water with low-flow plumbing fixtures, using 20% recycled content and at least 20% local building materials. The building will also use new innovative energy-saving technologies such as advanced mechanical systems, high-performance exterior building enclosure, and natural daylight harvesting. The daylight harvesting alone is projected to save an additional four percent of energy on top of the current 34% savings. Almost half of the site for the new courthouse will consist of green and pedestrian-friendly open space with walkable access to more than 400 bus or train trips per day.

The project is 81% complete with key remaining work to focus on site work, interior finishes, and commissioning.

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