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United States Courthouse, Los Angeles

Photo © Bruce Damonte

Source: High Performing Buildings

The design of the new United States Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles is modern in spirit yet rooted in classic principles of federal architecture. It features processional steps, grand public spaces and enduring finish materials that give it a strong civic identity. It also uses an innovative structural engineering concept to make the glass cube structure appear as if it’s “floating” above a stone base, making the courthouse contemporary in material, technology and form.


The courthouse achieved LEED® Platinum certification and meets the GSA’s 2020 energy objective. Sustainable design features include its distinct pleated glass façade, rooftop photovoltaic array, use of LED lighting and control systems, drought tolerant landscaping, water conservation, and daylight harvesting. The composite structural design also enhances security and seismic performance, and resulted in a reduced carbon footprint compared to all-steel or all-concrete construction.

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