Future Los Angeles Courthouse Achieves Structural Milestone

April 08, 2015

LOS ANGELES – Clark has achieved a major structural milestone with the topping out of the structural steel for the future United States Federal Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles. The building features an innovative structural engineering design that allows the cubic volume to 'float' above its stone base. To accomplish the floating effect, the perimeter columns were temporarily shored and constructed into compression in order to erect the building's trusses. Once completed, the temporary columns will be removed and the trusses will freely support the perimeter in tension, ultimately revealing the cantilevered effect of the 'cube'.

The design-build project, with a total design and construction cost in excess of $326 million, consists of a new 632,000 square-foot facility that will contain 24 courtrooms and 32 judges’ chambers. The Courthouse also will be home to the U.S. Marshals Service, Offices of the United States Attorneys, and the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). The team is adhering to GSA's Design Excellence Program for the high-performance green building and is incorporating a number of sustainable elements into the structure, including LEED Platinum rating and an Energy Use Intensity (EUI) rating of 35. The courthouse’s serrated façade is oriented north to south to maximize daylight harvesting and views, while reducing solar heat gain by nearly 50 percent. Additionally, the building's high-efficiency systems, water-efficient fixtures, and advanced irrigation systems will help to meet the building's energy and water conservation goals.

In attendance at the ceremony were a number of United States federal judges, along with GSA's Acting Regional Commissioner – Public Building Service, Dan Brown.

GSA awarded the design-build contract to Clark and design partner Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP in December 2012. The project is scheduled for completion in summer 2016.