Project Profile: Security Order in the Court

When word came down the pike that a Colorado community was in line for a fancy new courthouse, local integrator Colorado Security answered the call of civic duty.

Sustainability Goes Hand-in-Hand With Courthouse Building’s Security

In addition to its leading-edge security solution, the Dennis Maes Pueblo Judicial Building is a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-registered facility boasting the latest innovations in sustainable design and energy management. As the project’s mechanical/electrical engineer, lighting designer and energy modeler, Lakewood, Colo.-based RMH Group was responsible for designing highly efficient HVAC and lighting systems that harmoniously integrate with the building’s unique and symbolic architectural features.

Using sophisticated lighting modeling software, RMH’s lighting designers worked closely with the building architect to develop a custom and efficient LED lighting scheme to complement the building’s signature feature: a striking entrance rotunda that emulates the look of a kiva, a ceremonial space typical of most Pueblo Indian cultures.

RMH’s lighting designers also worked in tandem with the building architect to develop functional, yet subtle, lighting to highlight a monumental steel staircase harkening back to Pueblo’s steel-town heritage. Daylight harvesting was implemented in all perimeter corridors to offset as much electrical lighting as possible with natural daylight. Occupancy sensors were installed throughout the building to turn on lights whenever occupants are detected in a space and to turn off lights whenever a space has been vacated.

The HVAC system utilized a variety of energy-reduction strategies including:

  • Direct evaporative cooling to efficiently air condition the building (evaporative cooling is supplemented with back-up chilled-water cooling)
  • Displacement cooling system for the entrance rotunda, which transfers conditioned air from the main building to the rotunda before being exhausted at the top of the rotunda
  • 95%-efficient condensing boilers and domestic water heaters
  • Demand-controlled ventilation to deliver fresh outside air to high-occupancy spaces whenever carbon dioxide levels reach a threshold level
  • Dedicated exhaust system to exhaust air from high-occupancy spaces without mixing with the general building return air
  • Energy recovery system using a heat wheel for the detention area to reclaim energy that would otherwise be exhausted to the atmosphere

The building’s many energy-reduction technologies and strategies are projected to deliver a 17.8% energy savings and an 18.8% cost savings when compared to a baseline facility meeting minimum LEED energy efficiency requirements.

With the Collinsworths being Pueblo residents and providing security for many county facilities, Colorado Security was aware of the pending development and opportunity two years prior to the beginning of its construction in 2012. This inside track combined with its overall competencies allowed the integrator to win the project bid. The facility would take two years to b
e completed, opening its doors in fall 2014.

“Having grown up in Pueblo, it was an exciting opportunity for the owners to be a part of such an important project for the city,” says Michael Collinsworth. “Having provided security services for the county for many years, we felt that we had a unique perspective on the needs for the new judicial building. It was nice to prove that just because you’re a small integrator that does not mean you’re incapable of providing high-end equipment and services.”

Job Involves a Combined 300+ Cameras and Access Doors

In particular, the judicial building planners were seeking to boost safety and communications for the holding cells and courtrooms, have probation panic buttons in place, as well as overall building security. Stakeholders sought a solution capable of growing and keeping up with new technology. So Colorado Security worked closely with the architect and security consultant to make sure to futureproof the design, with devices and systems that could readily be expanded down the line.

For example, wireless panic alerting was chosen because of its mobility, and IP video was selected due to its scalability to accommodate future growth as well as ease of integration with other platforms. Other highlights of the project included the installation of 160 Axis cameras and 150 access-controlled doors.

More specifics of the courthouse installation includes: Von Duprin electrified hardware; HID multiCLASS readers, Avigilon ACM enterprise server; 95 Inovonics wireless buttons, 95 Potter hold-up buttons, Interlogix NX-8E control panel; D-Link PoE switches; two Video Insight video management systems (VMS) with 98TB storage; 55-inch Samsung monitor, two Dell workstations with dual monitors; Commend GE800 intercom server; and 55 IP two-gang door stations.

Brian Collinsworth recounts some chief obstacles in bringing the final vision to life.

“At this time, this was the largest single structure project we had done,” he says. “Coordination between architects, owner, general contractor and manufacturers was challenging. It required a balancing act during construction to meet the needs of state staff, county staff, the sheriff’s office and general contractor.”

Anticipating these challenges, the Collinsworths utilized the expertise of Michael’s twin brother David, who had worked in the family business in the late 1990s before moving into the construction trade, where he has handled multimillion-dollar projects. “It was a pleasure working once again with the family business on such a historic company project,” says David Collinsworth.

In addition to its leading-edge security solution, the Dennis Maes Building boasts the latest innovations in sustainable design and energy management (see sidebar).

Courthouse’s Verdict: Positively Delighted!

The video surveillance system’s camera views and access control system’s schedules were arranged by Colorado Security through meticulous reviewing of preferences and purposes in concert with sheriff’s staff as well as state judicial personnel.

The integrator did have to bob and weave a bit in a few instances when proverbial wrenches threatened to gum up the works. For example, the detention area security doors were a specialty item that had to be installed by an out-of-state contractor, and hence complicated the smooth progression of deliverables. In addition, door hardware was installed by the general contractor, meaning each door had to be scheduled for prewiring.

In the end, Colorado Security’s project management skills proved quite an asset.

“We had a great relationship with most of the subcontractors, and this played a key role in the cohesiveness and flow of the project,” says Brian Collinsworth. “The sheriff’s office is very pleased with the system and would like to integrate these systems and technology into other county facilities as budget allows.”

Colorado Security’s satisfied client and neighbor, Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office Captain Felix Gallardo, adds, “The security system works great and the video system has been a great asset to us.”


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About the Author


Scott Goldfine is the marketing director for Elite Interactive Solutions. He is the former editor-in-chief and associate publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He can be reached at [email protected].

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