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New Courthouse Achieves LEED Gold Certification

Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Contact: Hanna M. Greer, 525-5848
Marty Homan, 525-5273

This morning, Franklin County Commissioners announced that the County’s new Common Pleas Courthouse is the first in Ohio to be awarded LEED Gold certification established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.

The new Common Pleas Courthouse, which opened earlier this year, achieved LEED Gold certification for energy use, lighting, water, and material use, as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. By using less energy and water, LEED certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the community.

“We are so excited to share this news,” said Commissioner Marilyn Brown. “Our goal was to deliver a significant public building that would be a downtown landmark. The project team delivered. The new courthouse serves as a model for green, sustainable and energy efficient practices and is a state-of-the-art courthouse for our entire community to be proud of.”

LEED certification of the Common Pleas Courthouse was based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself as well as the community. These features include: general design strategies include the building’s positioning, which is stretched out along the east-west direction to reduce cooling loads and improve daylighting; the building design allows for future expansion toward Front Street; and the building commissioning ensures that the building is operating as designed and intended.

“In 2006 we took major steps to assure tax dollars were saved through a practical sustainability policy,” said Commissioner Paula Brooks. “The Common Pleas Courthouse LEED Gold designation is nationally cutting edge and taxpayers will save 25% on the energy costs as a result. I am proud to have advocated for the Gold Level design. Franklin County is an acknowledged national leader in sustainability, and this certification documents that.”

Other green design features include low-flow plumbing fixtures, a rain garden and a green roof. The building also utilizes ‘smart’ glass to block ultraviolet and other non-visible radiation, while maximizing light; 95-percent of the waste generated during construction was diverted from landfill; a significant amount of the building materials were procured from local sources, or within the Midwest; and many of the materials used are comprised of significant amounts of recycled content. The wood paneling and millwork came from sustainably-managed forests in the Midwest.

“Creating a LEED-certified courthouse was a priority for the Commissioners, and it is responsible to the environment and cost-effective for the future. This state-of-the-art, sustainable facility will serve the growing needs of Franklin County for years to come,” said Commissioner John O’Grady.

A complete ‘green’ guide to the Courthouse is available for download at

“Congratulations to the entire team on this outstanding accomplishment, and thanks to everyone for their contribution toward the LEED-certification effort,” said Ryan M. Hoffman, CEM, BEAP, LEED AP BD+C, LEED & Energy Services Manager, Heapy Engineering.

“It took years of team collaboration to achieve this LEED Gold Certification, beginning with the Commissioners’ Resolution 683-06 in 2006. DesignGroup thanks the Commissioners for their commitment and leadership, as well as the hundreds of participants from Franklin County, design team, and construction industry that successfully worked together in achieving this recognition for the new Franklin County Courthouse. We’re delighted to be part of the ‘greening’ of the City of Columbus,” said John C. Schilling, AIA, CCS, LEED AP BD+C, Project Manager, DesignGroup.