Lloyd D. George United States Courthouse

PCI Design Award: Best Justice Facility/Courthouse – Las Vegas Federal Courthouse

Las Vegas Federal Courthouse
Las Vegas Federal Courthouse

Langdon Wilson and Clark Pacific win the 2002 PCI Design Award for Best Justice Facility / Courthouse for the Las Vegas Federal Courthouse. The project was judged on a national basis by an industry panel and was prominently featured in the Precast Concrete Institute’s Ascent Magazine. The project was the first federal courthouse to be constructed after the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was destroyed in 1995.  The precast was specially designed to afford the structure an inherent blast resistance capable of preserving life and the structural integrity.

The Lloyd D. George United States Courthouse is home to the district court of Las Vegas, and was the first federal building built to comply with post-Oklahoma City blast-resistance requirements. Following the events of the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995 and the attacks upon the World Trade Center in 2001, the federal government mandated an increase in building structure security measures that have since become industry standards.

The 450,000 square foot L-shaped facility incorporates a complex facade program. Ceiling heights of 22 feet required long-spanning cladding materials. Precast wall panels measuring 22 feet by 10 feet clad much of the exterior. A dramatic steel and aluminum canopy projecting from the top of the building shadows the plaza, where a 3-story rotunda serves as the public lobby. A 60 foot diameter cable truss supported glass dome caps the rotunda is in compliance with challenging bomb-blast requirements. The walls facing the plaza are glass curtainwall set into precast frames with an integrated louvered sunscreen.

Advanced structural silicone and laminated glass were combined in inventive ways to meet the blast requirements. Testing took place at the Department of Defense’s Large Blast Thermal Simulator in White Sands, New Mexico. Results showed that in the event of an explosion the curtainwall panels would maintain fundamental integrity and act to mitigate the risk of injury in the event of an attack. Hinman Consulting Engineers and Weidlinger Associates acted as blast consultants.

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