555 W. Harrison Map
Cook County, IL
Campbell Tiu Campbell
(Architect of Record)
Booth Hansen (Design)
Photo: Mark Ballogg
The Cook County Domestic Violence Courthouse is a 4-story, 169,000 sf building housing 10 courtrooms, social services, childcare facilities, and public agency office space. The building opened in October 2005 and is seeking LEED Silver certification. It is a replacement for the previous courthouse building at 13th and Michigan with woefully inadequate facilities. The building is the first constructed under Cook County's ordinance requiring LEED certification for all new county-owned buildings and won the 2006 Chicago Building Congress Merit Award for Rehab Construction.
The new courthouse is housed in an 1892 brick building originally built as a printing shop and since used for a variety of activities. This adaptive reuse is by far the project's greenest feature, especially considering the challenge of inserting such a complex building, with thoroughly modern amenities, into a structure of this era. Imagine inserting elevators, duct chases, stairs, and pipes into floors over 100 years old. This combination of old and new is apparent to all visitors, because the original rear facade forms the interior wall of a new entry atrium.
The project also includes a large solar electric (photovoltaic) array on the roof, providing 5% of the building's annual energy use. Although this number may seem small, few projects can install enough PVs to reach this percentage (to earn a credit in LEED 2.0 and 2.1). Here, the PVs cover most of the roof.
More than 50% of the wood products in the project are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council - although contractors seem to constantly complain how difficult and expensive it is to find FSC wood, I see a remarkable number of projects achieving this goal. So, I conclude the answer is, don't take no for an answer!
A state-of-the-art (but not cutting-edge) mechanical system works with the building envelope to provide 28% energy savings over ASHRAE 90.1-1999. Most other 'standard' LEED points are also here, including showers for cyclists. Other project team members include MEP engineer WMA, commissioning agent AEI, structural engineer WJE, LEED consultant Sieben Energy Associates, general contractor Sollitt / Oakley Joint Venture, associate architect Folgers Architects, and interiors architect Roula Architects.