Case Studies

Potter Stewart US Courthouse

Project Specifications:

Fosdick & Hilmer provided engineering and M/E/P/FP/IT design services for the multi-phased modernization of the 12-story, 432,500 GSF, Potter Stewart U.S. Courthouse originally constructed between1936 and 1938. Eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, the courthouse features primary elevations clad in Indiana limestone atop a dark granite base and exhibits both Art Deco and Art Moderne details. Significant interior spaces include the two-story main lobby with marble detailing, the original elevator lobbies with decorative brushed-aluminum elevator doors, and historic courtrooms with original wood paneling.

This $30 million GSA Design Excellence project includes exterior restoration; design of a new courtroom, judges’ chambers, grand jury suite, and satellite U.S. Attorney’s Office; and modernization of public spaces. Project involved M/E/P/FP/IT renovation to improve energy efficiency and replace aging infrastructure including the following:


  • Removal of cooling towers, chillers and associated pumps and tanks.
  • Steam boiler replacement including asbestos and lead paint abatement.
  • Installation of emergency generator.
  • Extension of existing sprinkler system throughout building.
  • Removal of defunct air handling unit and associated ductwork.
  • Renovation of two freight elevator.
  • Replacement of generators and modernization of motors on 8 passenger and 1 freight elevator.
  • Improved lighting level in two Level 8 courtrooms.
  • Installation of new air handling unit to first floor courtroom.
  • Addition of direct digital controls (DDC) for HVAC systems.
  • Installation of motion sensors and security card access devices at Judges’ chamber doors.
  • Restroom upgrades to meet Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) and ADA/ADAAG requirements.
  • Abatement activities included removal of over 2,000 linear feet of pipe insulation and removal of asbestos containing insulation in three 2-story boilers. All work was conducted in the evenings and on weekends to limit disturbances in daily Courthouse workings.
  • Project received LEED for New Construction Certification in 2013 with 28 points.