GSA Marks Grand Opening for Bakersfield's New Sustainable Courthouse
Building’s sustainable design reduces energy use by 45 percent
September 28, 2012
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Today, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) answered the City of Bakersfield and the Judiciary’s long-term request for a federal courthouse with the official opening of a new high-performance, sustainable facility. GSA, city leaders, and members of the judiciary gathered for a grand opening event and toured the new Bakersfield U.S. Courthouse.
“One of our greatest responsibilities is to provide our nation’s Judiciary – judges, marshals, pretrial services, probation and more – with the courthouses in which our laws are upheld, and from which justice is delivered,” said Ruth Cox, GSA’s Regional Administrator. “This courthouse is the first GSA Design-Build / Design Excellence project awarded through a fixed-price design competition selection process. As a result, the design-build team of Gilbane Building Company and NBBJ were able to deliver this sustainable courthouse in less than 31 months, and $2 million under budget.”
The facility was originally designed to achieve a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Silver rating, but with additional innovative design elements now incorporated, the courthouse is on track to achieve LEED Gold status.
“It has been a true honor to design the new Federal Courthouse in Bakersfield,” said NBBJ architect Steve McConnell. “Our approach has been to create a place for the people of Bakersfield that makes justice accessible. The Central Valley’s climate and landscape is a big inspiration to the design, as was the building’s site adjacent to Central Park. It was also important that the building take care of the environment by reducing energy and water consumption, and by integrating daylight throughout the space. We are excited to say that the project is expected to achieve a LEED Gold certification from the United States Green Building Council.”
With green technologies such photovoltaic panels, solar hot water system, LED lighting, maximum use of daylighting, and protective shading, energy consumption is expected to be reduced by 45 percent relative to a comparable building.
“During the construction of this project, the design-build relationship between GSA, Federal Courts, U.S. Marshal Service, the City of Bakersfield, NBBJ, Gilbane, and APSI clearly demonstrates how a successful partnership between governments and private firms really provides a cost effective method of construction, which saves the taxpayer’s dollars.“ said Andy Faber, Sr. Vice President of Gilbane Building Company.
The federal courthouse had a great impact on the community during its construction. More than 650 jobs were created and construction crews spent up to $200,000 per month in the local community.
The 33,400 gross square feet courthouse is located at 510 19th Street in Bakersfield’s Civic Center and houses the U.S. Magistrate Court, U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services and U.S. Marshals Service.
GSA was appropriated $5.5 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to convert existing Federal buildings into high-performance green buildings, and construct new energy-efficient federal buildings, courthouses, and land ports of entry. GSA’s projects will deliver lasting progress toward modernizing the nation’s infrastructure, reducing the federal government’s consumption of energy and water, and increasing use of clean and renewable power.