Adams County Justice Center's new wing matches existing look, manages energy demands, serves growing population

Adams County officials dedicated the expansion of their Adams County Justice Center at 1100 Judicial Center Drive in Brighton, Colo., in October 2009.

The expansion accommodates the community's substantial growth since the first phase opened in 1998. The new Phase II, 103,000-square-foot addition provides 12 more courtrooms, 10 more conference rooms, more offices and enhanced technology to meet the County's existing and future needs.

Designed by Heery International's Denver design office, the architects sought to match the existing aesthetic, provide views and daylighting, and efficiently manage energy use. To accomplish these design goals, Wausau Window and Wall Systems engineered and manufactured 21,265 square feet of its HP-Wall Series' high-performance curtainwall system.

Structural consultant, Martin/Martin, Inc., developed a 3-D building information model (BIM) during the early-stages of design. "The model illustrated and clarified the curtainwall's anchorage requirements at the existing building interface, which were too complex for 2-D details," says Tom Mifflin, Wausau's government market manager. "Using BIM tools, along with a collaborative design process, contributed to a very successful project. This avoided potential scheduling delays and costly rework during installation."

On April 25, 2008, the Adams County Justice Center expansion broke ground. Construction was substantially completed in October 2009 and opened in December. GE Johnson Construction Company (GEJCC) of Colorado Springs, Colo., served as the general contractor.

"The project was completed on time and on budget, which is what we all strive for on a project," Matt Richardson, project manager with glazing contractor Harmon, Inc.'s Denver team. He adds that Wausau, and other building team members and manufacturers, "were invaluable to Harmon throughout the process. They helped us not only fine-tune the systems and application, but also were key players in developing the construction schedule for the general contractor."

The GEJCC Team approved a select list of subcontractors to provide bids and Harmon was the successful, qualified bidder. To meet the very high performance requirements established by the owner and architect, Harmon was brought on board immediately to review and assist the Team with the exterior envelope final detailing. This allowed the submittal process to be streamlined and provided open dialogue between the design and construction teams. "We had a great line of communication between all parties that did nothing but help the flow of information and develop relationships required for this high level of construction" Mike Kosters with GEJCC stated.

GEJCC included the glazing team early in the project's development, according to Joel Watson, Harmon's senior sales representative. Watson emphasizes that this involvement was important "to review and assist the design team with the exterior envelope of the building."

The glass for the new wing's curtainwall matches the original glass curtainwall system in performance and aesthetic. "For an exact match, we supplied the same, low-E, blue-green, insulated glass that we previously supplied to the existing Justice Facility," says Cameron Scripture, sales representative for Viracon, Inc.

Complementing the glass in color and in performance, Linetec provided the thermal barrier system and the Sea Foam Green painted finish on Wausau's curtainwall and window systems. "The multi-level thermal barrier contribute to our HP-Wall's best-in-class thermal performance," explains Kevin Robbins, Wausau's regional sales manager. "In addition to helping keep occupants comfortable, this works in conjunction with the building's exterior solar fins to reduce the demands placed on the building's HVAC capacity and lower operating costs."

The system's durable finishes also lowers maintenance and associated costs. On the curtainwall's interior, a baked enamel finish was used to withstand the dail

y use of a public facility. For the aluminum framing exposed to Colorado's challenging climate, the curtainwall's exterior was painted with the most weather-resistant of all architectural finishes, a 70% Kynar® coating.

This same coating and color also was applied by Linetec to the Justice Center's storefront and entrance systems, supplied by Tubelite Inc. "The doors feature wide stiles, which work well with heavy traffic," says Rick Middleton, Tubelite's sales representative. "They can take the punishment of constant use demanded by a growing community."

Adams County's population has quadrupled since the original, six-story justice center opened in 1998. By 2007, the 17th Judicial District's caseload exceeded the capacity offered by the 21 courtrooms. Currently, the fifth most populous county in the state, Adams County is projected to be the fastest growing county in the Denver metropolitan region throughout the next two decades.

With this foresight, the County's voters approved continuing a one-half cent sales tax for the next 20 years to finance the $28 million construction project. On April 25, 2008, the Adams County Justice Center expansion broke ground. Construction was substantially completed in October 2009 and opened in December.

"Growth issues extend to every aspect of Adams County life now, and Adams County deserves this courthouse to keep public safety at the forefront," said District Attorney Don Quick. "We have a wonderful building, not just because of the structure, but because of the quality people in the structure. I'm as proud of what goes on inside this facility as I am of the facility itself."

"When designing the courthouse expansion, we incorporated lessons learned from courts and County staff that operated the Justice Center over the past decade," said Ted Halsey, Heery executive associate and design principal for the project. Each position in the courtroom is fully ADA-compliant for wheelchair accessibility. Aiming to increase user convenience and comfort, Heery expanded the lobby and screening areas to accommodate long visitor lines. To handle increased court operations, it also includes a new 500-seat jury room with landscaped outdoor garden area along with additional clerks' offices and public walk-up counters.

"This isn't just any old building," said Sheriff Doug Darr. "It is a place where victims and those accused seek justice, where people get the opportunity to tell their story and be heard. This expansion provides us the opportunity to handle more load and volume for a safer and more efficient community."

Adams County Justice Center, Brighton, Colo.

* Owner: Adams County; Brighton, Colo.

* Architect: Heery International, Inc.; Denver

* General contractor: GE Johnson Construction Co.; Colorado Springs, Colo.

* Structural consultant: Martin/Martin, Inc.; Lakewood, Colo.

* Mechanical, electrical and industrial process consulting engineers: RMH Group, Inc.; Lakewood, Colo.

* Glazing systems – consultant: Curtainwall Design & Consulting, Inc. (CDC); Dallas

* Glazing contractor: Harmon, Inc.; Denver

* Glazing systems – manufacturer: Wausau Window and Wall Systems; Wausau, Wis.; HP-Wall Series, plus 3250Z Series project-out awning windows with screens

* Glazing systems – glass assemblies: Viracon, Inc.; Owatonna, Minn.; VE-6-55

* Glazing systems – storefront and entrance systems: Tubelite Inc.; Walker, Mich.; 400 Series curtainwall, plus seven pairs and two single Wide Stile doors

* Glazing systems – finisher: Linetec; Wausau Wis.; 70% Kynar® PVDF resin, Duranar® Sea Foam Green on exterior, plus Acra-Bond® baked enamel on interior

600450 Adams County Justice Center's new wing matches existing look, manages energy demands, serves growing population

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