Stevens County Courthouse Morris, MN

When considering how to expand their existing courthouse to house all Government Services, Stevens County made the choice to retain and preserve existing building stock rather than demolishing and rebuilding. In doing so, the county placed a priority on sustainable design both as a community goal and as a way of preserving public funds for operational expenses. The new Stevens County Courthouse and Justice Center incorporated a series of sustainable design strategies following LEED principles to produce a highly energy efficient building using an existing structure.

In addition to building preservation and reuse, the project provided a completely new Mechanical and Electrical system for the majority of the facility, including an extensive geothermal bore field and associated mechanical system. Other sustainable design strategies include daylighting and lighting controls, use of local materials and landscaping, automated building controls, low flow plumbing fixtures, highly efficient building envelope, low VOC materials, rain gardens and on-site stormwater management. Though the owner did not pursue LEED certification, LEED principles were used as guidelines by the design team throughout design process.