The Judiciary, State of Hawaii


Architects Hawaii Limited




Kona, Hawaii


The Kona Judiciary Complex will be a new and modern courthouse in West Hawaii to consolidate the dispersed existing court facilities around Kona.  The new Complex will centralize the Judiciary Third Circuit West Hawaii operations into a single location and will house three circuit courtrooms, two district courtrooms and two family courtrooms including Judge’s Chambers, holding areas and spaces for Third Circuit departments and programs.

The new three-story facility will occupy approximately 150,000 SF and includes an approximately 10,000 SF central plant.  The structural system consists of structural steel framing, composite metal deck and concrete topping.  The roof is comprised of pre-engineered cold-formed steel trusses with metal deck and the foundations are shallow spread footings and/or continuous strip footings.  The central plant consists of load-bearing concrete and masonry walls supporting a steel roof.  

The Science and Design of Structural Engineering

The high seismicity of the Big Island results in very high seismic forces.  The seismic force-resisting system of the new building consists of a bearing wall system with special reinforced concrete shear walls.  The majority of the walls at the ground floor of the southeast side of the main building will be retaining walls.  These walls are designed for lateral earth pressures, including seismic forces, imparted by the retained soil and will be supported on shallow continuous strip footings.  Pre-engineered cold-formed trusses with metal deck are used to frame the roof.  Special attention was required in detailing the connections of the folded-plate roof diaphragm to the concrete shear walls. 

Client Benefits

In order to provide flexibility and hence competitiveness in the bids, BASE detailed an option on the construction drawings to allow the use of precast in lieu of cast-in-place concrete for all load-bearing exterior and interior walls.  This bid flexibility required our office to run the lateral analysis both with cast-in-place walls and precast walls.  The location of reveals around the exterior was closely coordinated with the architect to coincide with the potential location of precast panel joints.