The Surrey Courthouse Expansion and Renovation Project involves the new construction of a four-storey concrete structure of approximately 3,550 m2 of floor area. The design provided three new courtrooms, including one high security courtroom, one initial appearance room, four settlement conference rooms, 11 holding cells, five interview rooms, seven judicial chambers, in custody consulting cubicles along with related connections to the existing public, private, and secure circulation systems.
It has a layered approach that matches the layered security requirements of the program. The public circulation is an outer layer, an extension of the existing perimeter system but transformed into a three-story glass atrium that overlooks the surrounding landscape. The inner layer is a concrete volume containing the courtrooms and the secure supporting back-of-house areas.
The surrounding concrete courtroom container is lined with horizontal bands of micro perforated Douglas fir embedded flush into the concrete shell of the walls providing acoustic performance as well as warm character. The large south-facing three-story façade of the atrium was designed with a horizontal terracotta sunscreen or “baguette” system that helps mitigate heat-loading effects of the sun. Air is introduced into both the public atrium and the three new courtrooms by an underfloor displacement system taking advantage of underfloor plenum that was required for IT, Power and AV wiring. Both strategies created a more energy efficient solution and allowed for a smaller and more cost-effective mechanical plant.