Finegold Alexander Architects designed this Massachusetts justice center to achieve LEED Platinum.
Green building is on the rise in and around Boston, and the region is now set to have the state’s first LEED Platinum-certified courthouse.
Thirty miles north of Boston, the new Lowell Justice Center sits on a 3.2-acre site within Lowell National Historic Park. The 265,000-square-foot modern building includes 17 courtrooms, a variety of office spaces, and a two-story entrance lobby.
Plentiful natural light, warm finishes, and public art—including quotes about justice—make the center a welcoming, calming environment, according to Moe Finegold, principal in charge at Finegold Alexander Architects. The design team incorporated a natural material palette that also pays homage to Lowell’s textile history.
Ample glazing reflects the courthouse’s values of transparency while letting abundant natural light in to minimize the need for artificial lighting. The center was also designed in response to its site and to follow passive solar principles to meet high standards of energy efficiency. In addition to highly insulated walls and high-performance mechanical and lighting systems, the courthouse contains a chilled beam HVAC system and photovoltaic panels to help achieve performance targets 40% better than code.
Project: Lowell Courthouse Location: Lowell, MA Completion: March 2020 Size: 265,000 square feet Cost: $146 million Architect: Finegold Alexander Architects Construction Manager: Dimeo Construction Artist: Martin Donlin Acoustics: Cavanaugh Tocci ADA: Kessler McGuiness & Associates Civil Engineer: Nitsch Engineering Door Hardware: Stanley Electrical Engineer: ART Envelope: Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Geotechnical Engineer: McPhail Associates, LLC Interiors: Stefura Associates Landscape Architect: Copley Wolf Design Group Lighting: Sladen Feinstein Integrated Lighting FP, Mechanical, & Plumbing Engineer: ARUP Millwork: Vaughn Woodwork Consultant Structural Engineer: RSE Associates