Courthouse: Enhanced Office  

by WBDG Staff

Updated: 
05-09-2016

Overview

The Enhanced Office space type primarily refers to ancillary offices, jury facilities, and other spaces attached to courtrooms such as the Judge's Conference Room, Judge's Robing Room, News Media Room, Service Unit, Private Toilet, and Equipment Storage, but excluding the Courtroom Public Entrance Soundlock. In addition, the Enhanced Office space type includes the office, storage, and workspace for the Court Reporter/Recorder, Deputy Courtroom Clerk, and Transcriber/Typist located at the court set by the courtrooms; and Jury Facilities including Jury Assembly Spaces, Trial Jury Suite, and spaces within the Grand Jury Suite, except for the Grand Jury Hearing Room. In order to comply with court-related standards, Private Toilets, Conference Rooms, and Service Units are included in the Enhanced Office space type rather than as separate space types. See also WBDG Federal Courthouse.

Space Attributes

Enhanced Office space types can be differentiated from more general office space types because of increased attention to security and acoustical separations, and a high level of finishes in Judge and Jury areas. Typical features of courtroom enhanced office space types include the list of applicable design objectives elements as outlined below. For a complete list and definitions of the design objectives within the context of whole building design, click on the titles below.

Aesthetics

  • Finishes: Enhanced Office space types are generally finished with durable materials that reflect the seriousness of the judicial mandate and the dignity of the judicial system. Ambient lighting with dimmable controls and special accent lighting is typically used in Conference/Witness Waiting Rooms, and Jury Trial Rooms. Consider energy efficient lighting fixtures.

Functional / Operational

  • Occupancy: The Enhanced Office space types fall into the B2 occupancy classification with sprinklered construction. The GSA acoustical class is C1 for enclosed offices and Class C2 for open offices.

Productive

  • Special HVAC: Possess flexible, multi-zoned mechanical equipment with state-of-the-art controls and energy efficiency features. All court and judiciary-related offices must have individual HVAC controls, monitored from a central location. To control noise during all modes of operation, the systems must be provided with one or more of the following: sound traps and acoustical lining in duct work; low-velocity, low-static-pressure fan systems; and/or special low-noise diffusers.

Secure / Safe

  • Increased Security: Security planning is typically factored in at the beginning of the design process. Court components and circulation patterns require varying degrees of security therefore, each specialized room or area should be planned separately. Typically, special attention will be given to adjacency and circulation. Public circulation requires a single controlled entry, but allows free movement within the building. Restricted circulation has a controlled interior entry and is limited to judges, court personnel, and official visitors.

Example Program

A sample program is provided along with three floor plans (low, mid, and high rise).

ENHANCED OFFICE

Tenant Occupiable Areas Per Set SF Each Small Courthouse Medium Courthouse Large Courthouse
Sr. District Courtrooms          
    Witness/Att'y Conf. Rm. 2 150 300 600 1,200
    Public Waiting Area 1 400 400 800 1,600
    Equip. Storage 1 100 100 200 400
  Ancillary Facilities          
    Judicial Staff Toilets 1 50 50 100 200
    Court Reporter/
    Recorder Office
1 150 150 300 600
    Court Reporter/
    Recorder Storage
1 50 50 100 200
    Shared Work Room 1 50 50 100 200
    Transcriber/
    Typist Workstation
1 50 50 100 200
  Jury Facilities          
    Jury Room
    Soundlock Entry
1 50 50 100 200
    Juror's Toilets 1 100 100 200 400
    Coat Closet 1 20 20 40 80
    Trial Jury Room 1 350 350 700 1,400
    Service Unit 1 20 20 40 80
    Audio/Video
    Equipment
1 10 10 20 40
    Sworn Jury Custodian 1 50 50 100 200
District Courtrooms          
    Witness/Att'y Conf. Rm. 2 150 300 600 1,200
    Public Waiting Area 1 400 400 800 1,600
    Equip. Storage 1 100 100 200 400
  Ancillary Facilities          
    Judicial Staff Toilets 1 50 50 100 200
    Court Reporter/
    Recorder Office
1 150 150 300 600
    Court Reporter/
    Recorder Storage
1 50 50 100 200
    Shared Work Room 1 50 50 100 200
    Transcriber/
    Typist Workstation
1 50 50 100 200
  Jury Facilities          
    Jury Room
    Soundlock Entry
1 50 50 100 200
    Juror's Toilets 1 100 100 200 400
    Coat Closet 1 20 20 40 80
    Trial Jury Room 1 350 350 700 1,400
    Service Unit 1 20 20 40 80
    Audio/Video
    Equipment
1 10 10 20 40
    Sworn Jury Custodian 1 50 50 100 200
Magistrate Courtroom Facilities          
    Witness/Att'y Conf. Rm. 2 150 300 1,200 2,400
    Public Waiting Area 1 400 400 1,600 3,200
    Equip. Storage 1 100 100 400 800
  Ancillary Facilities          
    Judicial Staff Toilets 1 50 50 200 400
    Court Reporter/
    Recorder Office
1 150 150 600 1,200
    Court Reporter/
    Recorder Storage
1 50 50 200 400
    Shared Work Room 1 50 50 200 400
    Transcriber/
    Typist Workstation
1 50 50 200 400
  Jury Facilities          
    Jury Room
    Soundlock Entry
1 50 50 200 400
    Juror's Toilets 1 100 100 400 800
    Coat Closet 1 20 20 80 100
    Trial Jury Room 1 250 250 1,000 2,000
    Service Unit 1 20 20 80 160
    Audio/Video
    Equipment
1 10 10 40 80
    Sworn Jury Custodian 1 50 50 200 400
Bankruptcy Courtroom Facilities          
    Witness/Att'y Conf. Rm. 2 150 300 600 1,200
    Public Waiting Area 1 400 400 800 1,600
    Equip. Storage 1 80 80 160 320
  Ancillary Facilities          
    Judicial Staff Toilets 1 50 50 100 200
    Court Reporter/
    Recorder Office
1 150 150 300 600
    Court Reporter/
    Recorder Storage
1 50 50 100 200
    Shared Work Room 1 50 50 100 200

Example Construction Criteria

For GSA, the unit costs for enhanced office space types are based on the construction quality and design features in the following table . This information is based on GSA's benchmark interpretation and could be different for other owners.

Relevant Codes and Standards

The following agencies and organizations have developed codes and standards affecting the design of enhanced office spaces. Note that the codes and standards are minimum requirements. Architects, engineers, and consultants should consider exceeding the applicable requirements whenever possible:

Major Resources

WBDG

Building / Space Types

Federal Courthouse, Courthouse: Courtroom, Courthouse: Judicial Chamber, Hearing Room

Design Objectives

Accessible—Provide Equal Access and Flexibility, Aesthetics—Understanding the Language and Elements of Design, Functional / Operational—Account for Functional Needs, Functional / Operational—Ensure Appropriate Product/Systems Integration, Productive—Assure Reliable Systems and Spaces, Productive—Provide Comfortable Environments, Secure / Safe—Occupant Safety and Health

Building Commissioning

Delivery Teams—Select Appropriate Design Professionals, Building Commissioning

Publications

Others