Historic City Looks to the Future

Accessibility, security, dignity and sustainability for the citizens of Lowell and Massachusetts

Cornelius F. Kiernan Judicial Center

Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Lowell, Massachusetts

Located within the Lowell National Historic Park, this new Justice Center forms the cornerstone of Lowell’s Hamilton Canal District development master plan. The project was the largest of three pilot studies for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM)s ZNE initiatives. The courthouse is designed to use 40% the energy of a typical facility. A tight building envelope, coupled with glazing that maximizes daylighting, chilled beams and displacement ventilation, and photo-voltaic panels; are some of the many sustainable features. The Cornelius F. Kiernan Judicial Center is LEED Platinum certified and is the first courthouse in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and first state courthouse in the country to receive this certification!

Head to our article here to watch drone footage of the new Cornelius F. Kiernan Judicial Center by Reuben Pelham.

(Photo credit: Anton Grassl Architectural Photography)

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New Construction
Courtrooms, Judicial Suites, Clerk + Probation Areas, Detainee Areas, Registry of Deeds and Public Lobbies
LEED Platinum
ACEC Silver Award Honoring Outstanding Professional Design Excellence for ZNE Study
Green Building Showcase, National Grid/Eversource Energy Optimization Award
2021 BSA Accessible Design Award
2023 Justice Facilities Review Award
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Project EUI
38.1 kBtu/SF
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“Once opening day goes by and the full season starts it’s going to be cool. I think people are going to be very happy about being here.”
Michael Sullivan, Middlesex County Clerk of Courts, in the Lowell Sun Times

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The following elements helped Cornelius F. Kiernan Judicial Center achieve LEED Platinum:

o  Building massing and orientation minimizes the effects of solar heat gain and maximizes energy savings

o  HVAC system includes energy recovery wheels, chilled beams and displacement air systems which contribute to an estimated overall energy use reduction of 55-60% compared to a typical building.

o  Photo-voltaic panels on the roof and above the Judges’ parking offset energy use by 19%

o   Building envelope utilizes rainscreen design and maximizes R and U values for insulation and fenestration systems available at the time of design and construction

o  Landscape includes native plant species and a pollutant filtering rain garden on a redeveloped brownfield site

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“It’s beautiful!”
Ken Davis, Chief Court Officer, in the Lowell Sun Times