Franklin County Courthouse Suffers “Green” Side Effects

Kegler Brown Construction Newsletter

While green building is a rapidly emerging trend with laudable goals, there are risks to this type of construction that are only beginning to be appreciated. The recent $105 million Franklin County Courthouse is a fine example of this.

The Courthouse was designed and constructed (on time and under budget) to achieve Gold LEED certification and features much energy-efficient glass. When the Courthouse was preparing to open, the County realized that the building materials utilized made it hard or impossible to receive radio or cell phone signals – compromising security. So the opening was delayed while additional equipment is purchased and installed to boost reception. Now the owner and its design professional, consultant and construction manager appear to be blaming each other for not anticipating the problem.

This project illustrates the importance of clearly outlining upfront who is responsible for securing green status and assuming the risk of reconciling the green design with the owner’s intended uses of the building.