Bucks County Justice Center
Adviser: Dr. Richard Mistrick
Project Name: Bucks County Justice Center
Owner/tenant: County of Bucks
Construction Start: Ground Breaking July 2011
This project is the location for the county courthouse including courtrooms, offices, holding cells, and other supporting spaces. Part of an existing historic building on the site will be incorporated into the new structure; please see the historical requirements section below. The building is in the shape of a ‘V’ with the main entrance located at the apex. The building is across the street from the existing courthouse with the main entrance facing the existing building. Two sides of the building border streets with the remaining sides being adjacent to parking. See Figure 1 and Figure 2 below.
Figure 1 - Site Plan
Figure 2 - Exterior Render of the Main Entrance
International Building Code 2006
Doylestown Borough O District zoning
A portion of an armory that was built on the site in 1909 was to be incorporated into the building. The portion is located along Shewell Avenue and consists of 2 exterior walls and an interior fireplace. Figure 2 below details the portion of the existing building that will be incorporated into the new building.
Figure 2 - Existing Structure to Remain
Exterior Wall Materials
For the first two above grade exterior walls, the primary finish material is brick (with a running bond) clad precast concrete panels with decorative profiled precast concrete below the windows and acid etched precast concrete panels for the window sills. See Figure 3 below.
Figure 3 - Exterior Render
The windows are a curtainwall system with several types of exterior glazing in order to achieve a uniform exterior façade while not impeding on the interior uses of the building. The glazing types include vision glass, translucent glass, spandrel glass, and fritted glass. All of the glazing types have a low-E coating on one of the surfaces.
The main roofing type for this project is an inverted roof membrane assembly (IRMA) with a stone ballast and four inches of rigid insulation as shown in Figure 4 below.
Figure 4 - Roof Detail
The project is not pursuing LEED certification. However, the design still incorporates various features to increase efficiency. The design includes networked automated control of the mechanical systems and selected lighting systems in order to maximize efficiency. In order to minimize solar gains while still allowing for daylighting glazing with a low E coating, low SHGC and a fairly high VLT were used. Additionally, high efficiency plumbing fixtures were used throughout the building. Including dual flush water closets, ultra-low flow (1 pint per flush) urinals, 0.5 GPM sinks with aerators, and 2.0 GPM showerheads.
Primary Engineering Systems
The delivery method for the project is design-bid-build. The primary designer and general contractor are HOK and Ernest Bock & Sons, Inc respectively. The project has a cost of approximately $84 million and a construction duration of about 3.5 years.
The main electrical system utilizes a 3200 A unit substation that is fed by a 2000 KVA building transformer with a 34.5 KV primary and a 277/480 secondary. Four 800 A 277/480 V vertical busses distribute normal power throughout the building. In general, each floor has two electrical rooms with a 277/480 V and a 120/208 V panel. The 277/480 V panel feeds the 120/208 V panel through a transformer.
There are nine water based AHU’s for the building. Seven are located in the penthouse and two are located on level B2. Two of the AHU’s are fixed volume dedicated outdoor air units and the rest are variable volume. The AHU’s range in size from 5,500 CFM to 40,000 CFM. Five of the AHU’s include energy recovery wheels. Chilled water is supplied by two 330 ton air cooled chillers that interface with two 615 GPM cooling towers. Hot water is supplied by five gas boilers each with a 2000 MBH input.
The building is a steel framed structure supported by spread footings and strip footings. The spread footings range in size from 4’-0” x 4’-0” x 2’-0” to 9’-0” x 9’-0” x 3’-6” with the most common size for interior supports being 7’-6” x 7’-6” x 3’-1” and the most common size for exterior supports being 4’-0” x 4’-0” x 2’-0”. The strip footings are typically 3’-0” deep.
Additional Engineering and Engineering Support Services
The fire protection system includes a fire command center, full building sprinklering, motor operated dampers, pressurized stair towers, and a fire pump. Stand pipes are provided in every stairwell. An automatic wet sprinkler system is used everywhere accept the parking garage and sally port which use a dry system.
Vertical circulation is handled by four stair cases and nine elevators. The elevators are dedicated for the following uses: four for general purpose circulation are located in the main elevator lobby, three for prisoner transport are distributed throughout the building, one is dedicated for the judges to use, and one is for service.
There is sufficient telecommunications equipment to meet the VOIP and data needs of the various offices throughout the building. There are telecommunications rooms centrally located on each floor which are used as hubs for each floor. The backbone cabling is typically 25 strand CAT 3 cable, 12 strand single mode fiber cable and 6 strand multimode fiber cable.
All of the courtrooms have an A/V system that includes cameras, microphones, speakers, amplifiers, input stations, touch panel control stations, an assistive listening system, and a projector.
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