When the new U.S. Courthouse in Salt Lake City was dedicated this August, everyone hailed it as a sustainability winner. The courthouse was built to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, and surpass industry standards by using 34 percent less energy than comparable buildings.
The building uses new innovative energy-saving technologies such as advanced mechanical systems, high-performance exterior building enclosure, and natural daylight harvesting. The daylight harvesting alone is projected to save an additional 4 percent of energy on top of the current 34 percent savings.
The building features a 10-story atrium in the center facing the elevator core that holds a large sculpture made from 380 tubes of optical aluminum created by renowned artist James Carpenter. The interior features wood paneling and white oak floors that temper the glass and aluminum characteristics of the exterior. A circular glass staircase that connects the first three floors is a focal point in the atrium.