The 16 storey federal courthouse in downtown San Diego. Photo: Tim Griffith; The 16 storey federal courthouse in downtown San Diego. Photo: Tim Griffith;

San Diego Federal Courthouse, San Diego, CA

This 16-story government building is a hallmark of sustainable design

The United States Courthouse in San Diego, CA is a model project for the GSA in design excellence, energy efficiency, and sustainability. Situated near several other federal and local government buildings, this new courthouse helps create a campus-like civic plaza and revitalise the Core Neighborhood of downtown San Diego.

In an effort to create a sustainable building, several green principles were incorporated into the project. The courthouse's elegant glass façade has high performance glazing and external shading elements to allow light into the building, views to the outdoors, and at the same time shield the building from intense solar heat gain. The courthouse was designed with narrow floor plates to maximise the flow of natural daylight into the courtrooms, public spaces, and offices, taking advantage of San Diego's temperate climate. In addition, the jury assembly and building lobby has been designed with an operable façade to allow natural ventilation when outdoor temperatures are suitable. The courthouse achieved a LEED Gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Arup provided mechanicalelectrical, and plumbing engineering, as well as, LEED and sustainability consulting, virtual acoustic, and daylight modelling for the new courthouse.