New LEED Gold Federal Courthouse

The $115 million new federal courthouse in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, follows the GSA’s Design Excellence Program for top-quality design and sustainability.  The 280,000-sf facility was designed to comply with the GSA’s anti-terrorism design standards and requirement to use no more than 55 kBtu/sf/yr.  The facility achieved LEED Gold certification. 

The facility houses five courtrooms, judges’ chambers, jury assembly space, a grand jury suite, U.S. Attorney’s offices, bankruptcy clerk offices, probation offices, U.S. Marshals Service office, prisoner holding cells, and offices for state senators and representatives. 

IMEG provided energy modeling to compare life cycle costs of alternate designs. The design is anticipated to have a 31% annual energy savings as compared to code minimum requirements. Some of the energy-saving features include: 

  • Dedicated outside air system (DOAS) with total energy recovery to provide ventilation air for occupants. 
  • Dedicated outside air supply and exhaust system with energy recovery coils serving prisoner movement and holding areas. 
  • Variable air volume temperature control air handling units decoupled from the DOAS. 
  • High-efficiency water-cooled chilled water system with waterside economizer and variable speed pumping. 
  • High-efficiency hot water system with variable speed pumping. 
  • Parking garage ventilation systems controlled by CO and NOX sensors. 
  • Ventilation supply air controlled by occupancy sensors and CO2 sensors. 
  • Lighting designed with a power density below that allowed by code. 
  • Lighting systems controlled with a combination of daylight dimming, occupancy sensors, and dual level switching. 
  • After-hours lighting control sweep. 
  • Low-flow plumbing fixtures providing 50% water savings compared to code. 
  • Rainwater capture for lawn irrigation. 

Outside air intake is on the roof, and the mail processing room is continuously exhausted through a high-efficiency HEGA filtration system.  The central atrium is served by a 100% outside air make-up and exhaust air system for smoke evacuation. Stairwells are pressurized as required for high rise construction. 

General Services Administration
Cedar Rapids, IA
Services Provided

Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Commissioning, Technology, Building Performance Analysis, Building Certification