New, sustainable courthouse completes civic center plaza in San Diego
On November 19, 2012, the new San Diego Courthouse officially opened to the public. The 16-story building is a hallmark of sustainable design and is situated near several other federal and local government buildings, creating a campus-like civic plaza. This addition to the civic plaza will help revitalize the Core Neighborhood of downtown San Diego. In addition to the new building, this project also provides new pedestrian access points across the plaza, connecting the buildings, newly installed greenery, artwork, and a water feature.
In an effort to create a sustainable building, several green principles were incorporated into the project. The courthouse's elegant glass facade allows for the maximum use of natural day-lighting throughout the building and in the courtrooms. Some floors within the building also allow for natural ventilation, taking advantage of San Diego's temperate climate. The high-efficiency building systems, water-efficient fixtures, and advanced irrigation systems will help the building meet its energy and water saving goals. The courthouse is projected to achieve LEED Gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.
The new San Diego Courthouse also benefits from GSA's Art in Architecture Program. Among the newly installed works of art are two projects by prominent San Diego based artist Robert Irwin: a zig-zag ramp lined by hedges that leads up to the courthouse, and a large acrylic prism featured in the lobby of the building.
With its six courtrooms, the new courthouse will be occupied by the U.S. District Court, U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Pre-trial Services, Internal Revenue Service, and the General Services Administration. Court proceedings will begin in early December.