Maricopa County, New High-Rise Court Tower

New construction: Maricopa County, New High-Rise Court Tower; Syska Hennessy Group Inc.


Exterior shot of the new Maricopa County CourthouseProject name: Maricopa County, New High-Rise Court Tower

Location: Phoenix, Ariz.

Firm name: Syska Hennessy Group Inc.

Project type, building type: New construction, office

Project duration: 4.3 years

Project completion date: Feb. 20, 2012

Project budget for mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection engineering only: $4 million

Engineering challenges

The court tower requires systems capable of supporting high-tech security and office equipment, while remaining flexible to support programmatic changes necessary to complete the master plan and future expansions. Also, the architectural geometric model was used as a basis for the design of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems; airflow, temperature, and pressure simulations (CFD modeling); and energy analysis.  


As a part of the design team, Syska is contributing to the development of a 3-D model in an integrated BIM environment using Revit MEP Suite 2009 software. Using Revit and Navisworks for cross-disciplinary integration enables the design team to immediately see the effects of design changes, verify equipment clash and interference, and communicate more effectively. The model also allows the Syska design team to validate static pressure duct and system information, airflow (cfm), obtain quantity take-offs, and incorporate "smart tags" to support commissioning efforts. Syska also utilized the architectural 3-D Revit model to develop the energy model. GreenBuilding Studios takes the geometrics from Revit and transfers them directly to Equest. Beginning the process in Revit saved the design team substantial time and energy. CFD models using AirPak were also developed for the main courtroom and Sallyport. Syska utilized CFD modeling to evaluate end-user thermal comfort within all areas of the courtroom and ensure a consistent temperature gradient throughout the entire space. The Sallyport was also modeled to evaluate airflow to ensure effective collection and removal of vehicle exhaust.

Exterior night shot of the courthouse entranceInterior shot of the courtroomImage of the mechanical room equipmentShot of the electrical room equipment

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