Justice is golden in Rockingham County, N.C., in a way that few other communities can claim. The county’s Judicial Center, in the town of Wentworth, has earned LEED Gold designation from the U.S. Green Building Council. Not only is it the first judicial center in the state of North Carolina to gain that distinction, it’s the first in the Eastern United States, according to Moseley Architects, the firm that designed the center.
The 175,400-square-foot facility includes a courthouse, 300-bed detention center, space for detainees and offices for more than 350 employees. As you’d expect for a LEED Gold project, the nearly $38 million building includes a number of green components, including a reflective roof membrane that will keep the building cool in hot weather. Landscape features include rain cisterns to provide irrigation for landscape watering and stormwater management. Those who drive electric or hybrid vehicles to work will be rewarded with priority parking in the building’s parking lot.
Water consumption will be reduced by 33 percent thanks to the use of low-flow and dual-flushing plumbing fixtures, which will calculate out to about 1 million gallons of water saved each year. When the water savings from the rain cisterns are figured in, the center will actually use about 2 millions gallons of water less each year than a comparable conventional building.
Additional energy-efficient technologies are expected to reduce the amount of building energy used by as much as 28 percent. That translates to savings of $94,000 each year. The use of efficient HVAC systems and lighting, as well as the building envelope, are all factors that contribute to that savings. Environmentally friendly products were also used in the design of the buildings, and will be used in its upkeep as well. Recycled building materials came from the Forest Stewardship Council’s certified wood program and green housekeeping products will be used throughout the building.