The Alfred A. Arraj United States Courthouse Annex completes the four-block Federal Precinct in downtown Denver. Located in the City’s Civic Center, the 190,000 square foot building is an elegant addition to the city’s fabric while serving as a case study for the General Service Administration’s (GSA) sustainable design standards. The building comprises a 10-story tower and an adjacent two-story attached pavilion. The building incorporates 15 courtrooms, a jury assembly, a Clerk of the U.S. District Court, and U.S. Marshals Service Offices and Detention. A below grade connection links the facility to the existing District Courts building and its detention facilities. The courthouse was designed and built to accommodate a future expansion of 127,000 square feet.
The structure has a blast resistant design throughout while prioritizing green building standards and energy efficiency, per government regulations. The new courthouse had a goal of reducing electrical demand by 50%, therefore innovative, sustainable features construction tactics and materials were used. High-efficiency, triple-glazed windows were installed to significantly reduce heating and cooling needs. The windows included clear glazing above light shelves and tinted glass below. A state-of-the-art lighting system was used to optimize daylight use through electronic dimming, occupancy sensors, and ambient lighting. The installation also included an advanced energy management system to monitor external temperatures and adjust heating and cooling efficiently. The courtrooms incorporate a quiet underfloor air distribution system in occupied zones, a temperature control system that uses less energy than traditional, HVAC systems. The building also takes advantage of solar power with the installation of Photovoltaic panels on the top of the tower.
The project was one of the first GSA Design Excellence Program projects.