U.S. Courts Design Guide
The U.S. Courts Design Guide sets forth the federal Judiciary’s requirements for the design, construction, and renovation of court facilities.
The U.S. Courts Design Guide (Design Guide) is intended for use by judges, architects, engineers, General Services Administration (GSA) personnel, and court administrators who are involved in federal court construction projects. This latest edition, approved in March 2021, is intended to provide guidance for the interpretation and applicability of building standards and Judiciary policy, and to incorporate industry standards and best practices for the design and construction of federal courthouses.
- Download the Design Guide (pdf) (7.53 MB)
Since every district has its own set of unique opportunities and challenges, this Design Guide update emphasizes the need for flexibility in the design and construction process. Project stakeholders are encouraged to collaborate and think creatively about their spatial needs to uphold the integrity and accomplish the mission of the federal court system.
Design Guide Video Series
The Best Practices Guide serves as a companion to the U.S. Courts Design Guide (Design Guide). It provides policy guidance and technical requirements for federal judiciary projects, however, the document does not provide examples, lessons learned, or case studies for how these requirements may be implemented. As a companion document, the Best Practices Guide demonstrates the need for and applicability of the Design Guide by providing these missing components. This document captures industry best practices and lessons learned from courthouse planning, design, and construction projects throughout the federal judiciary.
- Download the Best Practices Guide (pdf) (26.2 MB)
2007 U.S. Courts Design Guide (pdf) (13 MB)