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Clay County Courthouse

Green Cove, FL

(Photos by Mike Butler) This precast concrete 4-story, 93,000 s.f. courthouse is a major expansion plus renovation to an early 1970s building. To maintain the classic design of the courthouse and bell tower, facilitate construction and reduce the overall schedule the stone elements of the project were designed as architectural precast concrete panels incorporating clay brick infill (thin brick).

Design Assistance

Brick was the most important element to translate the feeling of a true courthouse set in a traditional Southern town. Gate worked with the design team to match the clay thin brick architectural precast concretepanels with full size clay brick and precast walls that was specified for re-cladding the principal elevation to avoid adding loads to the existing 1970s building. This design-assist collaboration allowed the design team to meet the project’s ambitious goals.

Precast System Details

69,448 Square Feet of Architectural Precast

Precast Concrete Advantages

  • Aesthetics

    The owner and design team were interested in creating a new image for the courthouse, one that distanced itself from the dated 1970s look of the existing building. The new image for the courthouse was specifically intended to capture the strength and dignity of the classic pre-war American courthouse with its brick facades and neo-classical vocabulary. To facilitate construction and reduce the overall schedule the stone elements of the project were designed as architectural precast concrete panels incorporating clay brick infill (thin brick). The use of the clay brick infill provides a richly textured and marked contrast to the smooth white precast panels and trim, giving the courthouse an extremely dynamic façade expression. The principal elevation of the existing 1970s building was completely re-clad with new brick and precast wall panels. In this case standard full-size clay brick on new foundations was specified to avoid adding loads to the existing building.

  • Accelerated Schedule

    The entire project was completed in 20 months. The use of a brick inlay architectural precast system conservatively saved two months of additional time on the critical path to enclose this building with the traditional poured-in-place concrete column and beam structure with back up masonry block and brick cladding.

  • Quality

    Plant cast panels within a controlled fabrication and inspection environment provided a top quality in-place finished product which would not have been achieved with on-site masonry construction methods.

  • Site Utilization

    This courthouse has limited site access for staging and lay down area due to the requirement of minimum disruption for continuous on-going court activity in the existing facility.  This alone gave of-site fabrication and coordination with sequenced delivery and erection of the precast panels a tremendous benefit over the traditional masonry/brick construction method.

  • Safety and Cleanliness 

    Due to the sheer volume of on site in-place pieces required to assemble for the installation of traditional Block/Brick, makes this construction method contend with continuous scaffolding safety issues and volumes of debris cleanup. Precast concrete panels offered a distinct advantage with relatively quick large piece assembly and minimal debris. This was especially important to worker safety and user safety in the existing courthouse on a tight site.

Digital Design Resources

PCI Thin-Brick Standard Aids Design Specs
PCI Architectural Precast Concrete Specification Guidance

From the Architect:

"Plant-cast panels, within a controlled fabrication and inspection environment, provided a top-quality, in-place finished product."

Enrique J. Macia
AIA, Principal

General Information

Jacksonville, FL
AECOM Design
Elkins Constructors
Clay County Board of County Commissioners

Precast Systems

    No documents found.

Project Aesthetics

    No documents found.

More Information

    No documents found.