Tempered glass lites at the San Diego Central Courthouse have shattered on three separate occasions in recent months. This has forced the state of California to consider the construction of a canopy around the 22-story building to protect pedestrians.

According to media reports, the five-year-old building has experienced three recent incidents of spontaneous breakage of glass lites. The incidents occurred on different sides and various floors of the courthouse. Per courthouse spokesperson Emily Cox, windows on the 10th, 12th and 14th floors have broken or shattered since May. The most recent incident occurred on Aug. 4, 2022, when an exterior lite on the 12th floor facing Union Street broke.

In an email sent Monday to judges and court staff, which was reported by the San Diego Union Tribune, San Diego Superior Court Presiding Judge Michael T. Smyth and court Executive Officer Michael Roddy said there could be several possible causes, including impacts, high temperatures, impurities in the glass or other causes.

In response, the state said that it will construct an 8-foot-high sidewalk canopy around the building until it can determine why the lites are breaking.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the building has experienced window problems since its opening. A broken window on the upper floor in 2018 shut down a sidewalk for weeks while repairs were done. Less than nine months after the courthouse opened, the court had to replace 22 windows in the judges’ chambers because of extensive cracking.

The cost of those repairs was covered by the contractor, Rudolph & Sletten. The architect of the project was Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP.

No one has been injured in the incidents, and there is no cost estimate yet for the window repair and canopy work.