PublicationsClient ExperienceSustainability

Sustainability

Green justice buildings serve a sustainable justice system as foundations of a sustainable society.

Sustainable communities require a justice system with processes, facilities and operations to support a continuing viability. With widespread acceptance of shared responsibility for the health of our planet comes a growing linkage between sustainable design, social justice, and economic development. This trinity is the full measure of the effectiveness of the justice systems that serve our communities.

Courts

Sustainability begins with a mission and role in the community. Courts today are choosing an active, "problem-solving" role that engages the community and the justice system in addressing causes of deviant behavior.

Corrections

Sustainable detention focuses on successfully reentering an offender into the community as a more loving, productive and responsible individual. Modern jails are located near courthouses and convenient to public transportation -- a humane consideration for families.

Sustainable Justice buildings are sited, constructed and operated to minimize resource consumption and pollution generation, creating a healthy impact on the community and the environment. Emphasis on a "green" building process facilitates the triple-bottom line of Environment, Economy, and social Equity, the Three E's that define sustainability.

Courts

Sustainable courthouse design balances two imperatives: the traditions and authority of the court tempered with user-friendly openness. All occupied areas should be day-lit, whether through borrowed light or controlled natural daylight.

Corrections

The detention center is oriented along an east-west axis to capture sunlight during winter and guard against heat in the summer. The building forms a secure perimeter by wrapping around a courtyard that provides a daylight-filled corridor to reduce energy consumption.

The physical needs, health, dignity and human potential of all who come in contact with the justice system are respected and given opportunity to flourish. This applies equally to staff, visitors, service providers, and detainees.

Courts

The design of a public space is instrumental in defining -- and even improving -- an individual's experience within that space. Locating an open public stair prominently on entering encourages stair use, thus reducing the number of elevators and cost of operation, while creating an additional visual experience for the visitor.

Corrections

A healthy environment with abundant daylight, views to nature, vibrant colors, clear sightlines, climate control, and acoustic dampening create positive staff attitudes, and promote a safe environment conducive to positive behavioral change in inmates. People who feel safe and who are occupied with meaningful activity are more open to change.