Region 9 Newsroom
We reach citizens and consumers, businesses, and government customers in the four states of Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada, as well as overseas in American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Diego Garcia, Guam, mainland Japan and Okinawa, the Republic of Korea, Saipan, and Singapore.
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Sustainable features of Los Angeles courthouse start with construction processes
PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy of Brad McDermott/Clark Construction Company
The new United States Courthouse on the rise in Los Angeles is designed to achieve LEED® Platinum certification with sustainable features. Even during construction, the team is making every effort to reduce the project’s environmental impact by tracking and monitoring the waste produced and removed from the site. Material ordering, handling and storage is carefully controlled to minimize waste creation. When waste is generated, it is sorted and hauled by companies with the ability to further sort and recycle at off-site facilities. To date 79 percent of the 600 tons of construction waste has been reused or recycled, diverting it from landfill. Among the building’s sustainable elements are a high-performance faceted curtain wall facade that will reduce solar heat gain by 50 percent and give the courthouse a lively expression that changes throughout the day; and a 52,000-square-foot, 400kW photovoltaic array on the roof. The project is convertible to using biomass materials in the future so that it can one day reach net-zero energy.
LA courthouse 'topping out' ceremony signifies major milestone
On March 12, GSA’s Pacific Rim Region; the U.S. District Court, Central District of California; and construction crews participated in a topping out ceremony for the new Los Angeles Courthouse.
“Topping out” is a term used by ironworkers to celebrate the final piece of steel being hoisted into place on a building. This ceremony signifies the structure has reached its maximum height and provides an opportunity for those involved to sign the last beam that will be placed on the top of the building. It also signals moving into the next construction phase where the building’s facade will be added and internal construction can begin.
“It’s exciting to reach this important project milestone,” said Duane Allen, LA Courthouse Project Manager. “Even more so because the final piece of steel hoisted into place is a buckling restrained brace that we’re using as part of our seismic strategy to protect the building in the event of an earthquake.”
Earthquakes impart large amounts of energy into a building making it move in many directions. A buckling restrained brace (BRB) is designed to absorb that energy, thus reducing the amount of shaking felt by occupants and ultimately protecting the building structure around it. The BRBs installed in the new LA Courthouse weigh about 16,000 pounds and include a long steel plate that is placed inside a steel tube. The tube is then filled with concrete.
The buckling restrained brace placed last week was not only the last piece steel taken to the top of the new Los Angeles Courthouse, it’s also positioned in a location that will be visible from the penthouse after the building is complete.
GSA celebrates opening of McKinleyville’s new U.S. Courthouse
The U.S. General Services Administration joined the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and developer Eureka Skyline Partners, LLC at a ribbon cutting ceremony for McKinelyville’s new federal courthouse on March 6. The single-story facility with 22,853 rentable square feet is located in the Airport Business Park and includes one courtroom and office space for the magistrate court, the Bankruptcy Court, the Probation Department, the District Clerk, and the U.S. Attorney. The building was designed and constructed to incorporate the latest technology in sustainability and energy-saving measures to include high-efficiency heating and cooling systems that minimize energy consumption without compromising comfort through multiple zones and variable refrigerant flow.
GSA, as the federal government’s landlord and realtor, negotiated a 20-year lease on behalf of the courts. This new courthouse allowed the judiciary to relocate from a facility with seismic issues and to consolidate other leases dispersed throughout Eureka.
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Former Administrator meets with Calexico stakeholders
Now former GSA Administrator, Dan Tangherlini, recently met with regional stakeholders to discuss infrastructure investments at the Calexico West Land Port of Entry. The fiscal year 2015 budget provided GSA $98 million for Phase 1 of construction for the port, which acts as the main crossing point for the Imperial Valley’s important agriculture industry to the Mexican state of Baja California. The complete reconfiguration and expansion of the port will reduce vehicle and pedestrian traffic wait times and increase Customs and Border Protection’s ability to fulfill their mission. Currently, long wait times at the port equate to billions of dollars in lost revenue each year for the regional economy. Members of the Calexico delegation expressed their excitement for Phase 1 funding and conveyed their optimism for Phase 2 funding.
Mariposa LPOE awarded LEED® Gold
The newly completed Mariposa Land Port of Entry has been awarded LEED® Gold certification by the U.S. Green Buildings Council. The $187 million modernization and expansion of one of the nation’s busiest land ports achieved the certification for its use of energy-efficient technologies, including solar-powered domestic hot water, advanced lighting and building automation systems, and a rainwater harvesting system, as well as recycled content material selections and low-maintenance finishes that are used throughout the port's design. These improvements are targeted to reduce the port’s energy usage by over 35%. The Mariposa LPOE serves as the main port of entry for fresh produce entering the United States from Mexico and the primary produce distribution point on the southern border.
Commissioner tours Mariposa port of entry
Public Buildings Service Commissioner Norm Dong and Acting Regional Commissioner Dan Brown visited the agency's field offices in Phoenix and Tucson recently. During his two-day visit, Commissioner Dong toured the newly modernized and expanded Mariposa Land Port of Entry with Port Director Guadalupe Ramirez. He saw first-hand how GSA’s project helped improve efficiency, security and safety for officers and the traveling public. The Mariposa LPOE serves as the main port of entry for fresh produce entering the United States from Mexico and is the primary produce distribution point on the southern border.
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