Owner, Design, & Construction Team Delivers Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center Courthouse Two Months Early

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The symbolic, LEED Gold Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center was designed to endure a 100-year plus lifespan.

Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center

The team designing and delivering the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center announces it has delivered the project two months earlier than originally anticipated. Developed by Trammell Crow Company, designed by Fentress Architects and built by Mortenson Construction, the $258 million, 695,767 square-foot Colorado Judicial Center includes a courthouse and a 12-story office tower, which will become the home of the state's judicial and legal agencies. A 327-car parking facility was also constructed on the block to the south, adjacent to the History Colorado Center.

Struggling to meet the growing judicial needs of the people of Colorado and facing the urgent necessity to curb the ever-higher costs of maintaining its previous court building, the Colorado Judicial Department engaged the Urban Land Institute in 2005 to help facilitate a solution. The result is the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center located at 14th and Broadway.

While the previous court building lasted 33 years, the new building has been designed and built to endure a 100-year plus lifespan. The neoclassical Judicial Center anchors the south side of Civic Center Park and is a cornerstone of the Civic Center Park master plan. The stately location complements other dignified civic and cultural structures that occupy the park, including the Colorado State Capitol, the Denver City and County Building, the Denver Art Museum, and the Denver Public Library Central Branch. The glass-domed atrium of the courthouse creates a stunning visual connection to the Colorado State Capitol, linking Colorado’s Judicial, Executive, and Legislative Departments as co-equal branches of government.

Built to support a more efficient state judicial system, the complex consolidates seven judicial and legal agencies that currently lease office space in ten different Denver locations. The 12-story office tower will house judicial and legal agencies, while the courthouse will be home to two courtrooms for the Court of Appeals, a courtroom for the Colorado Supreme Court, the Colorado Supreme Court Library, and an educational civics learning center that will feature interactive exhibits showcasing the role of the American justice system.

The Judicial Center will also achieve energy efficiencies and is expected to achieve LEED® Gold certification. Some of its sustainable features include highly efficient elevators and lighting, as well as drought-tolerant landscaping. In addition, 40% of the external building materials from the previous court building have been recycled into the Justice Center, and 78% of construction waste has been diverted from landfills. No General Fund monies were used for construction, and over 2,000 jobs were created during the design and construction of this project.

As an accessible, welcoming, and educational meeting place for the people of Colorado, the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center preserves the state’s heritage for future generations while serving as a symbol of the rule of law and a just society.

The design and construction team credits the Integrated Project Delivery approach and the collaborative team efforts of the architect, construction manager, developer, owner, and State. By using three-dimensional virtual design and construction methods that included a building information model the team was able to ensure that any conflicts were resolved before field installation.

“We are honored to have participated with the talented team of public and private sector individuals who made this important project a great addition to the State Capitol Complex and honors the legacy of Ralph L. Carr,” said Bill Mosher, Senior Managing Director of Trammell Crow Company.

“The Colorado Justice Center is about more than great design — it’s about civic design that will stand the test of time,” said Fentress Architects’ founder, Curtis Fentress, FAIA, RIBA. “It’s a product of collaboration and efficiency between many state agencies and stakeholders.”

“We're excited, but not really surprised, by this result," said Brett Sisco, Mortenson's construction executive on the Justice Center. "When you look back at the meticulous planning and level of collaboration from the owner and design team, down through to the trade contractors, and how it was facilitated by the building information model, it simply proves the value and power of that effort and those modeling tools. Mortenson is proud of the early delivery of this incredibly complex project while maintaining a level of quality that will stand the test of time. The entire team should be proud," he added.

Additional state agencies will continue to move into other portions of the complex as they are completed and ready for occupancy, including the Attorney General’s office on January 22, 2013 and the Public Defender’s office in mid-March. The complex will be officially dedicated in a formal, public ceremony on May 2nd, 2013.        

About Trammell Crow Company:
Trammell Crow Company “TCC”, founded in 1948, is one of the nation’s oldest and most prolific developers and investors in commercial real estate. The company has developed or acquired over 525 million square feet of buildings with a value exceeding $55 billion. In Denver, Trammell Crow Company has had a presence since 1958. In the past decade, TCC’s Denver Office has successfully developed and acquired nearly $2 billion in projects across all product types. The Denver Office recently completed History Colorado and DaVita’s World Headquarters building. Trammell Crow Company also over sees the Denver Union Station Transportation project.

About Fentress Architects:
Fentress Architects is a global design firm that passionately pursues the creation of sustainable and iconic architecture. Together with its clients, Fentress creates inspired design to improve the human environment. Founded by Curtis Fentress in 1980, the firm has designed US $27 billion of architectural projects worldwide, visited by more than 350 million people each year. Fentress is a dynamic learning organization, driven to grow its ability to design, innovate and exceed client expectations. The firm has been honored with more than 400 distinctions for design excellence and innovation. In 2010, Curtis Fentress was recognized by the American Institute of Architects with the most prestigious award for public architecture, the Thomas Jefferson Award. Fentress has studios in Denver, Colorado; Los Angeles, California; San Jose, California; Washington, D.C.; and London, U.K. http://www.fentressarchitects.com

About Mortenson Construction:
Serving Colorado for more than 30 years, Mortenson Construction is a U.S.-based, family-owned construction company. Founded in 1954, and recognized as one of the nation's top builders, Mortenson provides a complete range of services, including planning, program management, preconstruction, general contracting, construction management, design-build, and turn-key development. Mortenson has offices in Denver, Minneapolis, Seattle, Milwaukee, Chicago, Phoenix and Portland with international operations in Canada and China.

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Katie Dabbs
Fentress Architects
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