Robert Vance Federal Courthouse

Robert S. Vance Federal Building and United States Courthouse – Birmingham, AL

A full-systems renovation, rehabilitation, and repair of the four-story federal building and courthouse were performed on the structure which is listed in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and was a part of the GSA Design Excellence Program. The project transformed the historical building into a modern and energy efficient facility.

Constructed between 1918 and 1921, the presence of clay tile arch floor systems, terracotta clay tile walls, brick bearing walls and columns, and brick arches, required a thorough knowledge of antiquated structural systems. Staff knowledge and expertise facilitated the development of repair and/or adaptive resolutions of the structural systems of the facility. Work was completed in stages to keep the facility operational during construction. The structural scope included:

  • New interior stair towers
  • New sally port and judges’ parking garage
  • Transformation of a central courtroom with high ceilings
  • Mechanical unit framing on the roofs
  • ADA modifications

Construction administration and on-site support were included in the project and proved to be extremely challenging as the structure was uncovered to expose problematic structural conditions.

  • Cost: $42 million.
  • Size: 173,993 SF
  • Goal of LEED Silver
  • GSA Design Excellence Program