SPRINGFIELD. Ga. — Effingham County’s historical courthouse has been designated LEED Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council. It is the first building in the county and the first renovated courthouse in the state to achieve the designation.
The 1908 courthouse was rededicated last November after a $3.5 million restoration project by the design team of J.T. Turner Construction Co. and Hussey, Gay, Bell & DeYoung, along with consultants GreenLine and Dulohery Weeks.
The project was funded by penny-sales tax dollars.
It is estimated that the courthouse’s LEED elements will reduce the building’s water usage by 30 percent and its energy usage by 34 percent, amounting to $14,000 annually in savings.
LEED elements used in the renovation included the diversion of 490 tons of construction and demolition waste through re-use and recycling; $179,000 of $512,000 in materials costs spent on the re-use of windows, doors, courtroom seating and reclaimed heart pine; the use of materials harvested and manufactured within 500 miles of the project site; individual lighting and thermal controls; occupancy and daylight sensors; reflective roofing; and bicycle racks.
The offices of the district attorney, tax commissioner, tax assessor and geographical informational systems department occupy the courthouse. It is only one of 141 courthouses in the U.S. listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
Although the courthouse is the first building in the county to achieve LEED status, the new Effingham Career Academy’s LEED designation is expected soon.