Historic Preservation / Governmental / Sustainable

Hipolito F. Garcia Federal Courthouse and Post Office


The historic Hipolito F. Garcia Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, located on the north side of Alamo Plaza, is the General Services Administration’s greenest building. The Courthouse is the first historic structure under the supervision of the GSA to receive certification as a LEED Platinum project from the U.S. Green Building Council. After a multi-million dollar renovation by Trivers and Associates with consultation by Ford Powell & Carson, the Hipolito F. Garcia Federal Building is now 40% more energy efficient. The renovation included the addition of a 13,000 square foot green roof planted with a variety of grasses and sedums, the largest green roof installation in Bexar County. The roof is located in the building’s central courtyard, above the former postal sorting rooms. It is irrigated by condensate collected from the building’s air conditioning system, and by ground water capture.

Interior of Hipolito F. Garcia Federal Courthouse and Post Office

The Courthouse also has rooftop solar panels for generation of power and heating of domestic water used in the building, drastically reducing demand on natural gas to heat water. Interior lighting is controlled by sensors that shut lights off when rooms are unoccupied. Heat deflecting film was added to the interior side of the building’s windows, reducing heat loads without altering the exterior appearance of the 1937 landmark. The Courthouse’s internal parking spaces now include charging stations for electric vehicles and priority parking for fuel efficient cars and trucks.

Sustainable features of the Hipolito F. Garcia Federar Building which contributed to it becoming the greenest building owned by the General Services Administration and acheiving LEED Platinum Certification

These innovations were integrated into the overall renovation of the Courthouse’s historic exterior without any visible changes to the structure. The cleaning and repair of the building’s limestone and tile exterior, metalwork, and clay tile roof were done using environmentally friendly techniques contributing to its LEED Platinum designation. One of the city’s most important historic public buildings is now its most environmentally responsible, a testament to good stewardship and the innovative re-thinking of the nature of renovation.

Back to Projects