SFS Architecture

Des Moines U.S. Courthouse Feasibility Study

Des Moines, IA

Study evaluates solutions for U.S. Courts, justice agencies’ long-term facility needs


Identify and evaluate alternatives for long-term housing for the U.S. Courts and related Justice Department agencies in Des Moines, IA to determine the most viable solution.


Our team worked closely with GSA representatives throughout the evaluation and analyses process to develop a completed study that addressed relevant criteria and met the client’s needs. SFS developed four viable alternatives that would meet the needs of the tenant agencies through 2023 with expansion capabilities. Each alternative was evaluated against technical, financial and security criteria, as well as the GSA’s requirements to achieve a minimum of LEED Silver certification and meet GSA Design Excellence Program goals.


SFS documented the four viable scenarios in a Feasibility Study Report developed for the GSA, along with the recommendation of a preferred alternative. The option that best met the established criteria was the construction of a new U.S. Courthouse on a new site in the Des Moines central business district: it best met technical criteria, was the most advantageous use of taxpayer-appropriated funds, and provided the best housing alternative to meet the mission-related space needs of the U.S. Courts and related Justice Department agencies. The financial analysis considered costs associated with land acquisition, renovation, new construction, floodplain mitigation, geotechnical conditions and relocation expenses. The selected option has the lowest net present value and estimated total project cost of all alternatives considered.

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