9.4 Structural Systems

General Requirements
The selection of the primary structural system for the new U.S. Court facility will be based on a variety of functional, technical, and load criteria. Whatever system is selected, the building should be planned with the longest logical clear spans (spacing between columns) and simplified structural framing to provide flexibility for modification/ adaptation to accommodate areas of special-use, including future courtrooms. (If space is dedicated to future Courts, the column layout must not disrupt internal sightlines of the courtrooms.)

Design of the courtrooms and court-area structural configuration must respond to the needs for electrical and data/telecommunication systems and their related horizontal/vertical distribution network. An important consideration for a structural design is the number and size of floor slab penetrations required in court areas for initial and future renovation. Increasingly, the requirements of electrical and data/telecommunication systems require frequent access, and change to accommodate use of new technology.

Byron White Courthouse, Denver, CO

Byron White Courthouse, Denver, CO

Other design considerations include:

  • Floor-to-floor heights providing adequate space for raised access floor systems.
  • Floor-to-floor heights designed to support horizontal utility runs above the ceiling.
  • Floor-loading capacities planned to accommodate initial and planned future loads, particularly in areas near building cores – which can serve as special “high” service zones.
  • Floor-loading to accommodate the secure, solid filled, reinforced security walls wherever they may occur in the dedicated USMS space.
  • Roof loads must consider general personnel and equipment loads, and should be planned to accommodate additional loads for antennas, satellite dishes, and window washing equipment.

Special structural capacity should also be provided in the following areas of U.S. Court facilities:

  • Judge’s chambers should be designed to provide 7.2 kPa (150 lb/sf) live load capacity.
  • Court library areas (central and satellite) designed to provide 7.2 kPa (150 lb/sf) live load capacity.
  • Moveable shelving live loads should be determined by reference to International Building Code requirements in the location where construction is taking place.
  • USMS space per RSSPSSM.
  • Clerk of the Court file storage area designed to accommodate high density file storage as identified by the court.

Martin Luther King Courthouse, Newark, NJ

Martin Luther King Courthouse, Newark, NJ
Last Reviewed 2016-08-02