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Historic Green St. Gainesville, GA 30501
Hall County Courthouse
The plaque below reads: “Courthouse Clock Bell 1886-1936. This Bell hung in the tower of the Hall County Courthouse build in 1886, and tolled the hours for fifty years until the courthouse was destroyed in the great tornado of April 6,1936”
Hall County Court Bell relocated from Historic Courthouse
First floor remodeling blueprint Hall County Courthouse
Currently Displayed Construction Plan for next phase of Courthouse construction

Showcase Project: Hall County Courthouse Annex

Sector Type

Local Government

Location

Gainesville, Georgia

Project Size

72,000 Square Feet

Financial Overview

$140,000

Annual Energy Use

(Source Source EUI)
Baseline (2010)
185 kBtu/sq.ft.
Actual (2013)
98 kBtu/sq.ft.

Energy Savings:

47%

Annual Energy Cost

Baseline (2010)
$110,000
Actual (2013)
$80,000

Cost Savings:

$30,000
Background

The original Hall County Historic Courthouse was built in 1886, but a tornado destroyed the entire downtown square of Gainesville, Georgia in 1936. The Courthouse was rebuilt that year, with an additional facility known as the Courthouse Annex added in 1977. The 1936 Courthouse was remodeled and modernized in 2002. A project proposal for the remodeling and update of the Annex was enacted through the Board of Commissioners largely based on the efforts of the Engineering and Building Maintenance Department (EBM) of Hall County. EBM committed to building on the commissioners’ focus on increased awareness and practice of energy efficiency and sustainability, both internally within the government and externally via outreach to private businesses and citizens.

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The judicial functions of Hall County government have steadily expanded over the years. Currently, the Courthouse Annex is undergoing a major renovation to better service the operational functionality of the Judicial Branch of Hall County Georgia. Additionally, the enhancements will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the Court House Complex, which will benefit all Citizens of Hall County.  Upon completion, which is scheduled for January 2018, The Annex will house the Clerk of Court – Deed Division, Juvenile Court, and Probate Court. 

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Solutions

All of the measures in this project were completed using funding from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program (EECBG) as instituted by the Hall County Board of Commissioners in September 2009. The grant program began with an initial energy audit conducted by a third party, in conjunction with Hall County’s Engineering, Building Maintenance, and Financial Services Grant departments. The walk-through energy audit assessed multiple options and established plans for potential Energy Conservation Measures by evaluating renewable and alternative energy resources, new equipment and technology, and best practices for select county buildings, systems, and vehicles.

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Savings Measure

Costs

Annual Savings Achieved

Notes

Lighting Conversion

$11,444

$8,887 Replacement of T-12/Magnetic ballast to T-8/Electronic ballast fixtures.
Vending Misers - Electric $1,612 $969 Electrical, non-lighting, vending misers. These occupancy sensors place vending machines into “sleep mode” during unoccupied times.
HVAC Controls - Building Automation System $111,014 $23,615 Retro Commissioning of controls including programmable thermostats, HVAC scheduling and timeclocks.
Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERVs) $6,000 $1,000 ERVs exchange energy from externally released air to pre-treat intake air, thus reducing heating/cooling demand.
Variable Frequency Drives on Chilled Water Pumps $9,624

$2,262

 
Total $137,694 (Actual) $36,733 (Actual)  
 

The replacement of the air conditioning units in the building represented the greatest energy and cost savings. The County replaced the outdated pneumatic HVAC controls, which are difficult to operate, maintain, and calibrate, with Direct Digital Controls (DDC) that consist of a unitary controller and electronic sensors to troubleshoot any operational deficiencies. The air handling unit was retrofitted with Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) on the supply and return fans, replacing the 60-horsepower supply fan motor so that fan running speed is attenuated to the speed necessary to maintain a comfortable building environment. HVAC installation and continued system maintenance were included in the contract to ensure ongoing savings. The improved ability to control and adjust the building temperature and HVAC system, along with the replacement of older technology and a regularly scheduled maintenance program, greatly increased energy efficiency and decreased the demand and energy waste of the building air handling unit.

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Other Benefits

This project dramatically improved the property’s ENERGY STAR score, from 27 in the 2010 baseline year to 89 in 2013, thus performing better than 88 percent of courthouses nationally.

Along with addressing energy efficiency, Hall County is better able to serve its' citizens through strategic community planning. The courthouse annex groups specific departments together based on the connection between their designated services. This community planning strategy will provide greater ease of use, efficiency, and satisfaction among the county's citizens, while simultaneously improving the work environment for the employees.

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