New Integrated Workplace Reduces Costs for U.S. Courts in Philadelphia

GSA partnered with the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts and Third Circuit Court of Appeals Judges to reconfigure three separate Judges' chambers at the James A. Byrne U.S. Federal Courthouse in Philadelphia into an integrated workspace for 12 non-residential judges and their law clerks. This first U.S. Courts Integrated Workplace Initiative (IWI) project completed nationwide is saving the Courts $250,000 per year in rent.

The Integrated Workplace Initiative is the result of a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to developing and providing workspace, uniting an organization’s strategic real property plan with the organization’s strategic business goals. It responds to the people and work practices of each individual and group, and provides them with the physical space and tools needed for their success. The highly functional workplace for the Courts in Philadelphia provides sufficient privacy for Judges to work alone, yet plenty of room to collaborate with their staff. The new spaces are painted in a timeless, neutral palette sparked by creative accents of crisp, lively colors in fabrics and art. They reduce footprint by offering an open office benching system for law clerks as opposed to large individual desks. Modular lounges accommodate casual work, and multi-purpose conference rooms can be used as breakout rooms or for video conferencing. Wall-to-wall windows in Judges’ offices allow for natural lighting and beautiful views of Philadelphia’s Independence Mall.

A private ribbon cutting and welcome by Chief Judge D. Brooks Smith was held October 26 at the Court of Appeals to celebrate this success story in space management. Judge Smith described his appreciation for the space and project, "What was most gratifying to me as chair of the Space and Facilities Committee was the unanimity among our non-resident judges in embracing the Integrated Workplace Initiative concept. It meant that each non-resident Judge would realize significant shrinkage in the per judge space footprint. For many judges, it also meant giving up a view of historic parts of Philadelphia. But Third Circuit judges were ready and willing to contribute to the Judiciary's national space reduction initiative by implementing IWI--the so-called ‘workplace of the future'. We wanted to do our part."

Judge Thomas M. Hardiman also added his delight for the new space, "The new Philadelphia chambers shared by non-resident judges are terrific...When the Court sits en banc, opportunities abound for convivial interaction among Third Circuit judges and their staffs, enhancing what is already a very collegial court. An added bonus is the satisfaction of knowing that we in the Third Branch are doing all we can to be good stewards of the public fisc."

This article is part of the Winter issue of the FOCUS newsletter. Please visit the Focus Newsletter page to read our newsletter. To subscribe to FOCUS, complete the online subscription form.

Last Reviewed 2017-01-18