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Port Huron Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse
526 Water St.
Port Huron, MI 48060
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The Port Huron Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse was built in 1877, after Congress allocated $200,000 for its construction. The courthouse was designed by Alfred B. Mullett, best known for the design of the San Francisco Mint. Unique features include a cupola and ornate modified Corinthian capitals, characteristic of the Classical Revival Era. The original three-story building featured gas chandeliers and 17 Vermont red marble fireplaces. In 2008, the lobby of this historic courthouse was restored to its original grandeur. The renovation included unveiling the 17-foot ornamental plaster ceiling, recreating the mahogany postal wall, installing historically-accurate doors and pendant light fixtures, and restoring wood window frames.

The courthouse is equipped with a PC-based Energy Management System (EMS). The building engineer is trained to make adjustments to the HVAC sand boiler systems as necessary based on indoor temperatures, exterior conditions, building load, and tenant requests. The courthouse air conditioning system consists of individual floor air handlers for cooling the space. Control of the air handlers is achieved by a programmable Siemens/Trane system with firmware updates and graphic capabilities. The air handlers are equipped with economizers allowing free cooling operation at ambient temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperature control for tenant comfort is achieved through a variable air volument (VAV) system installed in the duct work.

The heating system consists of three Weil-McClain M# 580 low pressure steam boilers. The boilers are staged to provide building heat based on ambient temperatures inside the building. This allows the boiler system to maintain the set point temperature while reducing the number of boilers operating. The boiler system's computer incorporates set-back controls to provide minimal heating (freeze protection) during unoccupied building hours. This set-back control is achieved using an outside ambient air temperature sensor.

Daily building tours are conducted to monitor space temperatures, inspect equipment, and ensure proper operations. Annually, all controlling devices (e.g., sensors, thermostats, pressure stats) are inspected and adjusted for proper calibration and operation. Cleaning, lubrication, and adjustment of the building's air conditioning and boiler equipment is performed annually to ensure efficient operation. The basement lights of the courthouse are equipped with motion sensors.

The Property Manager is trained in various GSA programs that allow for the monitoring of utility usages. For example, the Energy Usage Analysis System allows the property manager to run reports for the building that compare usage by fiscal year, by utility, and by month.  Another program is the Utilities Profile Payment System, where each utility can be reviewed by monthly payment. The estimated payment amounts are compared to the actual payment amounts and a percentage variance reported.

The on-site engineer has received ongoing manufacturer's training on the Siemens Energy Management System and the Apogee Boiler Controller. He has also taken additional training offered by the Trane Company in the advanced use of the Tracer Summit Control System.

A thorough preventative maintenance program is in place and is reviewed annually by the GSA property manager. Monthly printouts provide the building engineer with the scheduled monthly maintenance checklists for each piece of equipment. Inspections and re-inspections are performed by the maintenance contractor's Project Manager and GSA personnel to ensure that proper maintenance and procedures are provided.

As a federal agency, GSA is required to meet a number of energy and water management goals mandated through Executive Orders, legislation, and other requirements for energy conservation. GSA continuously reviews historical data, initiates projects, and modifies practices to meet the goal of reducing facility energy usage per square foot.

Ongoing discussions between the property manager and the service contractors take place in order to identify where improvements can be made. These contracts include language for all contractors to conserve energy by turning off lights, turning off faucets, closing windows, and reducing consumption in all areas. 

Communications:

The Port Huron Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse received the local Building Owners and Managers (BOMA) award for The Building of the Year (TOBY) for the second time in 2009.

Testimonial:

Unavailable


Please note: Narrative information in this profile has been provided by U.S. General Services Administration or a representative of this facility. Other building information was verified and submitted to EPA at the time of application. Building energy performance, operating characteristics, and ownership/management may be subject to change over time.

Federal Building

Building Owner:*
U.S. General Services Administration

Property Manager:*
U.S. General Services Administration, Michigan Service Center

Year(s) Labeled (Rating):
2008 (77)
2009 (90)
2010 (91)

Facility Type: Courthouse

Total Floorspace: 44397 sf

Year Constructed: 1877

Contract Type: None

Technologies Used:
   Stage 1-Recommissioning
   Stage 2-Lighting
   Stage 3-Load Reductions
   Stage 5-Heating and Cooling Plant

For More Info:
Laura Marble
Property Manager
Detroit, MI 48226
313-226-2547
laura.marble@gsa.gov