Hampshire County Courthouse, Northampton


This project was performed under a House Doctor contract for repairs and renovations of various Massachusetts Trial Courts.  One of the projects under this contract was to design electrical system upgrades at the Hampshire County Courthouse buildings.

The Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) circuit breakers and panels needed to be replaced because of safety concerns and the Courthouse was using an outdated and undersized generator.  The electrical deficiencies that existed in the building were eliminated through the replacement of FPE products as well as the installation of a new 300 KW emergency generator.


Improvements consisted of replacing all FPE components, installing a new generator and construction of new electrical rooms.  One electrical room was built into an existing storage room and the other was built from the conversion of an underutilized toilet room.  Exterior foundation walls were waterproofed with a bituminous waterproofing system augmented with perimeter drainage along the wall footings.  The work also included upgrades to electrical panels throughout the two buildings.  Heating and cooling was vastly improved with new supply and return ducts.

Other areas of work for the project included the conversion of an unused single restroom into an additional electric room, and new roof and site drainage system leading to a new catch basin.  New emergency exit lighting was mounted next to each exterior door and hardwired to the new generator.  Sidewalk improvements around the site included universal access curbs to eliminate tripping hazards and improve accessibility, especially at the main entrance.

CBI also investigated the condition of the building envelope to identify the existing conditions and deficiencies and provide recommendations with estimated costs.