As the most significant single building project to occur in the Inland Empire and San Bernardino in decades, the new building-designed by SOM-improves the efficiency of the courts by consolidating functions that had previously been spread among twelve different buildings throughout the county.
The complex occupies approximately 380,000 square feet on a seven-acre site and consists of two building elements: an 11-story courtroom tower visible on the skyline and a linear, three-story podium that holds the street edge and correlates to the scale of the adjacent historic courthouse. The building's 35 courtrooms are stacked into an efficient 200-foot-tall tower. Each tower level contains four courtrooms, with public circulation occurring behind a glass facade on the north. The complex also features spaces for court administration, self-help, jury services, child care, sheriff's operations and holding. The site and building design takes a sustainable approach and is expected to receive a minimum LEED Gold certification by the US Green Building Council.
Located near two significant California fault zones-the San Jacinto and San Andreas-the 11-story structure is the first and tallest newly built, base-isolated court building in California. A high level of care was given to the design and construction of the structure to elevate its long-term resiliency.
The building’s key features include the following:
- Courtroom configuration: Four large courtrooms, 28 standard courtrooms, and 3 small courtrooms, plus 2 hearing rooms. Most courtrooms will accommodate juries, and all have access to holding facilities for in-custody detainees.
- Designed for future expansion, the building design will accommodate construction of 4 full-sized courtrooms in lieu of the smaller courtrooms and hearing rooms, as caseload needs change in the future, for a total of 36 courtrooms.
- Sustainable design: With a minimum target of LEED®Silver certification, the New San Bernardino Courthouse will seek to establish a sustainable model of development in the city. The design has carefully considered orientation, shading, material selection, and landscaping so that the building will thrive within its desert climate.
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