Their challenge

Our client had been hired by Cook County to design a new Courthouse that would consolidate the county’s three existing separate courthouse facilities (Domestic Violence Court located at 1340 S. Michigan Avenue, the Criminal Misdemeanor Courts located at 11th and State, and the Civil Order of Protection Courts located at 28 N. Clark) into a single building. They chose to renovate a 19th century 192,636-square-foot warehouse facility into the new Cook County Courthouse. To keep in accordance with a 2002 ordinance requiring all new county buildings to be LEED certified, our client needed a trustworthy engineering partner to provide sustainable engineering and structural designs for the building.

Our solution

Rising to the challenge, Salas O’Brien provided resources for the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection systems design for this project. In line with our client’s goals, our design included several environmentally-friendly components, including a 110-kW photovoltaic system to supply about five percent of the new building’s power, new high-efficiency boilers, a sustainable landscaping water system, and use of low-odor-emitting materials and paints. In addition, our work included coordination of complex mechanical and electrical systems with the PV system, as well as intricate lighting, security, and audiovisual systems.