South County Justice Center
Design Consultants:Architect-CO Architects
- The project never veered far from the budget due to a collaborative relationship with the architect
- Construction is tracking on schedule
The 95,500-square-foot Porterville Courthouse includes nine courtrooms, judges’ chambers, jury deliberation rooms, support services, clerk offices and work areas, public walk-up windows and queuing areas, a detainee holding area and sally port. The courthouse replaces the current, outdated facility in Porterville, Calif.
The project’s modern look and prominent location make it a landmark building. The design features a large courtyard in front of the building where the public can utilize walk-up windows to obtain information and pay fines without having to enter the building and pass through security. It is one of the first new courthouses in California equipped with a sophisticated audio-visual system that allows it to be monitored offsite via a statewide communication network.
A number of sustainable construction practices and features also distinguish the new Porterville Courthouse from its predecessor. An energy-efficient mechanical system will utilize chilled beam passive cooling with thermal energy storage units (using ice made at night when energy rates are cheapest) and radiant heat to regulate indoor temperatures. The courthouse’s environmental impact will be further reduced through the use of low-water-use fixtures and landscaping, green roofs, photovoltaic solar panels and several locally sourced and renewable materials.