The Nathaniel R. Jones Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Youngstown, Ohio, houses not only the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, but also various federal offices. The project team accommodated the sometimes conflicting requirements of the diverse tenant agencies while maintaining a commitment to security and green design.
The building was the first courthouse completed by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Both the LEED Rating System and the GSA Construction Excellence Program drove the design and construction process, allowing green building principles and best construction practices to be integrated into the project.
Built on an urban brownfield site, the facility was designed to contribute to the revitalization of downtown Youngstown. A previously paved portion of the site was converted to greenspace, significantly reducing the site's impervious area. Reflective roofing and the use of concrete instead of asphalt parking-lot paving reduce the project's contribution to the urban heat-island effect.
More than 70% of the total construction debris, by weight, was recycled; soil and old concrete foundation materials were excavated and used for site grading. More than 60% of the building materials used, by cost, were sourced or manufactured locally. Recycled content materials included carpeting and structural steel.
The building was designed to be energy efficient, using extensive daylighting, spectrally selective glazing, and photoelectric sensors to minimize electricity use for lighting. Several post-occupancy adjustments, including the installation of a recirculation loop in the heating system and personnel training, reduced consumption by an additional 20 to 25%.