Fairfield County: Bringing Innovation and Resiliency to County Facilities

January 24, 2024

Fairfield County completed a $5.8-million facility improvement project which provides annual energy and operational savings of $455,954. The project is building upon results achieved during Phase I to further enhance energy efficiency, improve operational efficiency, and extend the life of Fairfield County facilities. The project encompasses the historic Fairfield County Courthouse, the Liberty Center Title Office, and the Hall of Justice.

Historic Courthouse Renovation & Restoration

The beautification and renovation of the historic Courthouse was the first major component of this project. This includes building envelope restoration, exterior stonework refurbishment, and the refinishing of terrazzo floors. These restorative measures will extend the life of this notable structure for decades and ensure there is a greater barrier to protecting the integrity of the building envelope. In addition, the installation of new LED lighting at the courthouse will reduce energy usage and lighting costs by 60%, and significantly reduce maintenance costs for the County. Furthermore, the installation of new, energy-efficient HVAC replacement equipment will improve comfort levels in hot and cold weather, increase airflow in the courthouse, and increase energy efficiency. 

Liberty Center Title Office Solar Installation

The Solar Project at the Liberty Center Title Office was designed as a pilot program to determine the cost-effectiveness and return on investment of such a project. Supporting the County’s goals to become more knowledgeable in solar generation, this project will also help county commissioners plan for the future. The solar pilot program includes turnkey installation of a 65,000-W (DC) solar array at the Liberty Center Title Office, grid interconnectivity and net metering, and submetering for performance evaluation. The solar array will provide approximately 60% of all power to the facility. The solar modules and racking systems for this project are produced locally in Ohio. The initial installation supports the County’s sustainability goals and plans for future solar expansion while positively impacting return on investment.

Hall of Justice Energy Conservation Measures

Lastly, the scope of work at the Hall of Justice focused on the implementation of Energy Conservation Measures. These measures include the installation of new interior LED lighting, HVAC system upgrades, and window replacement. All T-8 Fluorescent tubes were replaced with energy-efficient LED tubes, which improve lighting levels, reduce lighting costs by 60%, and significantly reduce maintenance costs. HVAC replacements will provide increased airflow, greater pump efficiency, and overall increased energy efficiency. In addition, 93 windows were replaced with energy-efficient, thermal-pane Argon gas-filled Low E metal windows. These windows provide numerous benefits, including increased energy efficiency, greater insulation, and enhanced occupant comfort.

Fairfield County’s investment in these three buildings demonstrates the County’s commitment to being good stewards of the community by reducing energy consumption and decreasing operational expenses while strengthening community pride and advancing fiscal progress. This project blended energy efficiency, historic restoration, and usability.

Fairfield County is fortunate to possess a 152-year-old courthouse that still can function as a safe, efficient workspace for many years to come.

The outcome will provide those who live and work in Fairfield County with a strong reason to be proud of their community and to anticipate a significantly brighter future.

About Fairfield County

The mission of Fairfield County government is to improve the quality of life in Fairfield County while supporting businesses, protecting citizens, and planning for the future. Fairfield County spans 509 miles and is home to approximately 159,000 citizens. Within Fairfield County limits there are 13 school districts, 5 major cities, 14 villages, and 13 townships. To learn more about Fairfield County, visit their website at https://www.co.fairfield.oh.us/.

About Fairfield County Courthouse

The original courthouse was constructed in 1806 and served the population until space became an issue in 1858. Construction on the new courthouse began in 1868 and this was completed in 1872. The new courthouse is a two-story rectangular brick building located at the center of Broad Street at the northern edge of Main Street. The rectangular courthouse was constructed of locally quarried stone and rises two stories above a full ground floor. Long, arched windows line the façade, with three in the front and nine on the sides, all separated by a pair of Doric pilasters. The main entrance is flanked by an inner Corinthian column and an outer Corinthian pilaster. The door is located inside a recessed portico and is topped by a fanlight. The flat roof is supported by an entablature with urns on the corners. The cost of construction of the new courthouse was $138,921.

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