Space Planning

Up-sizing the physical space requirements, while creating additional distance between occupants might seem to be an obvious answer to address social distancing considerations. However, it does come at a cost, a very expensive solution to construct and maintain the additional space over the life of a facility. Through the utilization of predictive change evaluations as an evidence based, research-based solution we believe this approach delivers a better solution.
When conducting a deeper evaluation over simple space planning strategies associated with understanding court case flow management requirements, event-based occupancy projections, evaluating evidentiary and support processing conditions, and administrative assignments allows us to achieve a more effective design solution. By determining not only the initial occupancy parameters for the court facility when it is first opened, it is also vitally important to operationally project milestone year (5, 10, and 20, etc.) scenarios so the facility can functionally adapt and accommodate the requirements for flexible growth or change. This demographic predictive change determination once established can be measured periodically to ensure the functional and operational needs of the Elkhart County court constituency are met each year. 

Essentially, a one-size-fits all solution won’t work. Each municipality and county as a viable state component must be researched to determine their specific needs and functions. Research stats such as: demographics (gender, age, population, etc.), community identity, where the community sees itself going in the future. Research today’s court programming types, and create flexible spaces to accommodate those needs: 

Think about different types of specialty courts that affect court staffing, judicial assignments, staff needs, and courtroom requirements:

  • Drug Courts
  • DUI Courts
  • Family Courts
  • Domestic Violence Courts
  • Mental Health Courts
    • Think about not just the present space needs, but what will be needed in the future, having a strategy for accommodating future growth. Understand the staff needs (present and future):
      • “Data managers” rather than clerks? (suggested because of new technology shift) Other examples or experience, allow us to better define use conditional changes going forward. 
      • What types of people are working differently now and how often are they there? Predicting the changes in workplace strategies is critically important.