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Salt Lake City’s Frank E. Moss U.S. Courthouse will transform into a modern workplace for federal agencies

Adaptive Reuse

Salt Lake City’s Frank E. Moss U.S. Courthouse will transform into a modern workplace for federal agencies

The adaptive reuse of the courthouse is expected to save the federal government up to $6 million annually while providing the latest office amenities.


By Novid Parsi, Contributing Editor | September 15, 2023
Salt Lake City’s Frank E. Moss U.S. Courthouse will transform into a modern workplace for federal agencies
Courtesy HOK

In downtown Salt Lake City, the Frank E. Moss U.S. Courthouse is being transformed into a modern workplace for about a dozen federal agencies. By providing offices for agencies previously housed elsewhere, the adaptive reuse project is expected to realize an annual savings for the federal government of up to $6 million in lease costs.

Built in 1905 as a federal courthouse and post office, the building underwent renovations and expansions in 1912 and 1932. By 2020, the building sat largely vacant. Its unreinforced masonry construction and its proximity to the Wasatch Fault made it the most at-risk building in the U.S. General Services Administration’s entire portfolio, according to a statement from HOK.

The design by HOK and Trivers Associates restores the building’s terrazzo, marbled lobbies and corridors, and wood-paneled courtrooms to their original quality. The project team is working both to preserve the building and to create a “building within a building” that meets the latest federal earthquake risk management standards. 

The seismic upgrades include reinforced concrete shear walls and thousands of epoxy dowels added to the existing masonry walls, as well as new foundations and steel collector elements below each floor to tie the original building with two additions.

Costing a reported $116 million, the 250,000-sf project also will provide the latest workplace technology and amenities, including breakout rooms, lounges, and cultural galleries. Wellness features include indoor bicycle parking, showers, and lactation and wellbeing rooms on every floor.

The building, which is targeting LEED Gold certification, will use 50% less energy and 30% less water than a similarly sized building, and it will reduce embodied carbon by 59% compared to a new replacement building. A chilled-beam heating/cooling system will reduce airborne particulates, improve efficiency, and lower carbon emissions.

On the Building Team:
Owner: U.S. General Services Administration
Design architect and architect of record: HOK
Historic architect: Trivers Associates
MEP/FP engineer: HOK, Spectrum Engineers, Henderson Engineers
Structural engineer: HOK, SGH, Dunn Associates
Construction: Big D, Jacobs

Salt Lake City’s Frank E. Moss U.S. Courthouse will transform into a modern workplace for federal agencies
Courtesy HOK
Salt Lake City’s Frank E. Moss U.S. Courthouse will transform into a modern workplace for federal agencies
Courtesy HOK
courtesy HOK
Cross section depicts the project team's seismic retrofit measures at Moss Courthouse. Illustration courtesy HOK 
Salt Lake City’s Frank E. Moss U.S. Courthouse will transform into a modern workplace for federal agencies
Courtesy HOK
Salt Lake City’s Frank E. Moss U.S. Courthouse will transform into a modern workplace for federal agencies
Courtesy HOK

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