Manchester Civil Justice Centre is a striking contemporary 14 storey court building which has won awards for many different aspects of its design, construction and sustainability. From November 2002 to July 2005, the author was a key member of Denton Corker Marshall’s London project team having responsibility for key areas of design development, integration of technology and sustainable design including the East elevation’s “environmental veil”. This paper tracks the procurement of the building, describing its low energy features and their performance in practice. The paper reviews the low carbon elements of the design (daylight and natural ventilation systems) in the context of similar buildings and the buildings operational performance. The building has a mixed mode ventilation system which is managed centrally; the paper describes the ongoing relationship between the Facilities Management and the building’s users and their expectations of comfort and offers an explanation as to why the building’s energy performance is not as good as predicted at design stage. A case is made that this building is a significant example of low energy design and would form a good example for a detailed Post Occupancy Evaluation. The energy performance of the building could be studied in more detail to encourage the users (judges, staff and the public) to improve the building’s energy performance and to share knowledge within the construction industry. Institutional and commercial barriers to the more mainstream adoption of Post Occupancy Evaluation are discussed with respect to the Manchester Civil Justice Centre.
Best British Buildings of the 21st CenturyA–X. Blueprint, 14 January 2011. Available online: http://www.blueprintmagazine.co.uk/index.php/everything-else/best-british-buildings-of-the-21st-century-x/ (accessed on 21 November 2012).
Bordass, W.; Leaman, A.; Eley, J. ; A Guide to Feedback and Post Occupancy Evaluation; The Usable Buildings Trust: Bootham, UK, 2013. Available online: http://www.usablebuildings.co.uk/ (accessed on 9 April 2013).
Staff at award winning Civil Justice Centre offered fleeces because of the cold. Manchester Evening News, 22 January 2011. Available online: http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/news/s/1406033 (accessed on November 2012).
Henderson, V. An Evaluation of Display Energy Certificates as a Policy Initiative to Improve Energy Efficiency within Public Buildings in Cornwall. Master Thesis, Climate Change and Sustainable Development, De Montford University, Leicester, UK, 2011.