Project Improves Energy Costs at Federal Courthouse
The Joseph P. Kinneary U.S. Courthouse has stood along the Scioto River in downtown Columbus for 80 years. A $26.8 million federal project funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is designed to help the courthouse last for decades more. The project was recently completed after more than three years, and was overseen by the U.S. General Services Administration that owns and maintains the federal building.
“The project features both interior and exterior building improvement and upgrades, and these improvements will also help reduce the building’s energy and water consumption, ultimately saving the taxpayers’ dollars,” said Ann Kalayil, regional administrator for the U.S. General Services Administration Great Lakes Region.
Low-flow water fixtures in upgraded restrooms, a rainwater harvesting system to water the landscaping, and special light sensors to conserve electricity are among the interior upgrades.
U.S. District Court Judge Edmund Sargus Jr. has worked at the courthouse for nearly 18 years and has been watching the progress of the project.
“We have been working in a construction zone but it’s all been for a very important purpose,” Judge Sargus said. “The outside, of course, is the big change and, fortunately, nothing ever fell off the building before it was repaired. So it’s more the idea of coming into a well-maintained building that we see as the upshot of all of this.”
Portions of the deteriorating sandstone were repaired while maintaining the historic look of the building. Carved stone figures on the building were cleaned. Reglazed and resealed windows add to the building’s energy efficiency.
“The recent improvements helped GSA significantly reduce the building’s use of energy and water. As compared to 2009 levels, current energy and water usage of the building are both down by 23 percent – and that’s pretty significant,” Kalayil said.
She adds that the preservation project also means a piece of architectural history will be maintained for future generations to enjoy.