lighting services and energy usage. While the use of a lighting design consultant is not
explicitly required, it is common practice on courthouse projects for architects to have a
lighting consultant as a member of the design team.
2.2.2. Whole Building Design Guide
The Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG) is not a design guide in the traditional sense;
rather it is a website that offers useful links to resources on topics related to building and
construction in the Federal sector. For example, links are provided to the U.S. Courts
Design Guide and relevant energy codes, but the website does not have any specific
requirements per se. The web pages offer basic information about sustainability,
courthouses and lighting, but there is no specific guidance about lighting in courtrooms.
2.3 Courtroom Data and Project Background
Data was collected in two ways. Information about specific courtrooms was gathered and
analyzed, and GSA staff members were consulted to gain their professional experience about
managing courtroom lighting projects.
2.3.1. Courtroom Data
Courtroom data collection started with a review of courthouse drawings and specifications
provided by GSA, including Tampa, FL; Tallahassee, FL; Montgomery, AL; Columbia, SC;
Central Islip, NY; and New York, NY.
Written documentation was supplemented with an actual lighting audit data provided by
Arup Lighting. This additional data resulted in enough information to complete a
reasonable energy analysis (see below). The information and results of Arup Lighting's
work is published in a separate study. (Arup)
2.3.2. GSA Staff Interviews
Phone meetings were held with GSA project managers and staff to gather input on
successes and failures of specific courtroom projects, as well as issues related to the process
of running a courtroom lighting project. Based on these discussions, a number of issues
arose as the most frequent and serious problems in courtroom lighting.
2.4 Design Problems
The most prevalent and systematic lighting problems and challenges were identified both by the
audit data and by GSA project managers. The issues are listed below, and suggested solutions to
these problems are found in the recommendations section of this report.
2.4.1. Synthesis of Findings from Arup Lighting Report
Many of the courtrooms were either overlit or underlit.
There was insufficient "bounce" light in some circumstances caused by the lack of
indirect lighting, resulting in excessive shadows and poor facial modeling.
Most courtrooms had dark wood finishes at the walls, resulting in low room surface
brightness, insufficient "bounce" light, and excessive power density.