The newly constructed Courthouse at Los Angeles (LA) includes twenty four courtrooms, thirty two justice chambers, is spread over ten stories and has a total area of 633,000 square feet. One of the unique features of this structure is that the LA Courthouse beautifully showcases the potential of glass balustrades. The design features cube shaped structures with a serrated facade made of aluminium and glass. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, the design also reduces absorption of solar heat, while ensuring that natural sunlight is used to illuminate the courthouse to the maximum extent possible, reducing the lighting bills.
The courthouse has been designed by SOM Architecture to conform to LEED Platinum standards by optimizing the natural diffusion of light and improving energy efficiency. For this reflectors placed strategically are used to reflect the sunlight from the skylight to the central atrium of the structure. For circulating light in the interiors of the building, the glazing system used was made only from glass and consisted of 762 meters of customized CRL TAPER-LOC®. Installation of this system on the floor ledges overlooking the atrium, walkways and stairways was completed by Golden Glass, a leading provider of glass decking balustrade options.
One of the main goals of SOM Architecture when they designed the courthouse was to use materials and a design which would reduce the usage of artificial sources of lighting, lowering the electrical power consumed. The Frameless Glass TAPER-LOC® Balustrade System uses toughened glass which is laminated, and visually appears to be made from glass alone. It improves the diffusion of light, making areas in the courthouse appear to be larger and more vibrant.
Since the courthouse was centrally located in the extremely busy downtown area of Los Angeles, the contractors hired had to strictly adhere to the pre-decided construction schedules. A major advantage of the TAPER-LOC® Glass Balustrade System was that it reduces the time required for installation to less than 50% of the time required for the more widely used wet-glaze systems. For precisely adjusting the glass quickly and easily during installation, a torque tool is available, so that the glass system is quickly installed conforming to the building schedules.
Sustainability was one of the most important considerations in the design of the LA United states courthouse. The aesthetic TAPER-LOC® glass only system helps in creating an open environment for easy collaboration in the courthouse. It also reduces the amount of energy consumed, by making optimal use of natural daylight for illumination of the building.