Client

Prince George's County

Background

The Duvall Wing of the Prince George's County Courthouse was originally constructed in 1880, with major additions in 1939, 1947, 1957, and 1968. The original courthouse was composed of brick masonry exterior walls with steel and wood framing below a slate roof. Multiple expansions were added that included sections supported by steel and concrete framing of various configurations. These expansions left the interior fractured, with inadequate circulation for a modern courthouse facility. A major interior renovation began in 2003 to address circulation, upgrade the finishes, improve life safety provisions, and renovate the mechanical/electrical/plumbing systems of the building.

Solution

WJE preservationists initially assessed fire damage limits for insurance coverage and designed stabilization and temporary protection for the masonry and concrete structure. The team then conducted a comprehensive investigation of existing conditions, including the evaluation and testing of masonry material properties, to determine and develop necessary structural and facade improvements.

Based on WJE's recommendations, the roof assembly over the various generations of structure was unified without modifying the load paths sufficiently to avoid costly foundation modifications. Light wells within the structure were also infilled to obtain more usable space. These efforts also included structural provisions for an entirely new, centralized mechanical system using roof mounted units where none had existed before. WJE also completed the exterior restoration with less maintenance-sensitive materials.