In July of 2006, WPI finished work on the Wayne L. Morse U.S. Courthouse in Eugene, Oregon. This six-story, 270,000 square foot Courthouse, designed by acclaimed architect Thom Mayne, incorporated many unique design elements, including pairs of tear drop shaped courtrooms in three pavilions. According to Thom Mayne, he designs buildings with fragmented forms which are meant to embody a “lack of completion” and an “open-ended process”.

This fragmented design presented many unique challenges for WPI. Non-traditional leaning walls shaped as radiuses, cylinders, and cones each provided their own set of construction complications.

The Under Floor Air Distribution (UFAD) System, also provided its own set of challenges. UFAD systems have long been used in Europe and are just starting to gain acceptance in the United States. While UFAD systems are praised for generally reducing construction costs and shortening the required deck-to-deck height in high-rise buildings, the wall construction with these systems require extra care and attention to detail. The WPI project manager on this job commented that extra attention also had to be paid to the sealing of the interior walls of the Courthouse as they created an integral part of the under-floor plenum for air circulation.

The scope of work for WPI on this project included structural and light-gauge framing, drywall, plaster, fire proofing, and the installation of blast fabric, building insulation, and acoustical wall & ceiling panels. Throughout all the unique challenges of this job, WPI proved that we were able to use our experience and expertise to complete this project and create a building that will inspire future generations.