Chapter 13: Considerations for Special Facilities
Courts in Multi-Tenant Buildings
Multi-tenant buildings generally house combinations of judicial operations and other
federal and private tenants. Such facilities can be new construction or renovation of
existing space. The design, construction, and maintenance of multi-tenant buildings is
the responsibility of the General Services Administration (GSA).
The structural systems of multi-tenant court buildings must be designed (or
redesigned) specifically for the needs of the courts.
In multi-tenant buildings, the federal courts and related agencies must occupy the
upper floors, with lower floors occupied by other federal and private tenants.
Courts must expand downward to adjacent court-occupied floors, or to floors
occupied by non-court agencies that can be relocated. Such expansion may span
several years due to the availability of adequate space, the budgeting cycle of the U.S.
Congress, and contracting work by GSA.
Multi-tenant buildings can pose serious problems for court security. Some federal
agencies, such as the Internal Revenue Service, Social Security Administration, and
U.S. Post Office, attract large numbers of patrons. This complicates security
screening at the main building entrance. Additionally, these agencies sometimes draw
disruptive customers. Ideally, these agencies would not be located in court-occupied
In those instances where a court is located in a multi-tenant facility, the USMS will
determine and provide the appropriate level of building access control. These decisions
must be coordinated with the Building Security Committee/Court Security Committee.
Increased workload has forced the courts to expand into multi-tenant facilities not
designed for court use. In these cases, the court must be acoustically isolated from
other tenants to protect the confidentiality of the judicial process.