The new Green County Justice Center replaced the existing historic landmark Courthouse. The 64,700 SF Justice Center is sited adjacent to the existing Law Enforcement Center. This allows the Sheriff’s Department staff to escort prisoners directly to the courtrooms through a secure underground tunnel, without coming in contact with victims, witnesses, or judicial staff.
The Justice Center includes two jury-ready courtrooms and judicial offices in conformance with Wisconsin Supreme Court Guidelines. Potter Lawson used “real time” design and 3-D modeling of the courtrooms to allow the judges and County staff to review the layout and sight lines and make modifications before construction began. Support spaces for the Court Commissioner, Clerk of Courts, District Attorney, Victim Witness Coordinator, and Child Support are included. Additional space for the Public Defender, and the Probation and Parole offices have also been included to consolidate all services related to the justice system in one location. The ground floor houses the UW Extension, Probation & Parole, Family Court class room, and jury assembly.
Potter Lawson’s philosophy throughout the design was to incorporate sustainable principles whenever possible. The Energy Modeling Design Assistance Program from Focus on Energy was used in conjunction with other programs to decrease cooling requirements and energy demand through the effective use of exterior window shading. This resulted in more than a 5 percent decrease in the design cooling loads. Other strategies included the extensive use of natural daylighting, orienting the building for the best solar control, using high-efficiency mechanical and electrical systems, and lighting occupancy sensors.