Tomochichi Federal Courthouse Expansion


U.S. General Services Administration - Region 4 (Southeast Sunbelt - AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN)


Completion Date

Construction Cost
$27.8 million

Project Size 
46,000 SF

Tomochichi Federal Courthouse Expansion


Originally built in the 1890s, Savannah’s Tomochichi Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse required expansion to meet the Judiciary’s needs for security, accessibility, and operational efficiency. A new annex was planned for an adjacent lot.  Prominently within Savannah’s National Historic Landmark District, the new annex needed to reflect the historic fabric of the city while still meeting the Owner’s goals of establishing a 21st century courts facility. 

Appearing simple and straightforward from the outside, the interior programming and space planning of the three-story annex was quite complex. Many unique design and loading conditions were taken into consideration by Walter P Moore structural engineers, including ASCE 7 seismic design parameters due to Savannah’s geography and the site’s soil composition. A steel frame structure was designed to accommodate the need for open and column-free spaces ranging from small offices to large courtrooms. To accommodate every floor’s unique footprint, column transfers were designed to shift the structural load for compatibility with each level’s layout.

The interior space constraints, paired with a complex rooftop equipment layout, also posed challenges for the structural support requirements along the perimeter of the building. And because the building’s exterior included a mix of stone, brick, and glass, a variety of unique edge details had to be developed to accommodate the façade conditions and coordinate the connections with the perimeter structure. Walter P Moore’s quality control team conducted a careful analysis to confirm all column transfers were accounted for properly, along with the seismic requirements and the intricate relationship between the structure and architecture.

The new annex adds an elegant simplicity that complements Savannah’s distinctive style and the courthouse’s surrounding architecture. Walter P Moore successfully met the client’s unique layout and detailing needs without compromising the design intent or historic relevance of this iconic structure