Maricopa County - New High-Rise Court Tower
Phoenix, AZ

As one of the fastest growing areas in the nation, Maricopa County was faced with an increase in criminal justice proceedings and needed to expand their existing complex with the addition of a state-of-the-art high-rise court tower. Syska is currently providing engineering services that include developing high-performance design solutions to support the 100-year building.

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. A program analysis and facility assessment was completed by Syska prior to commencing schematic design, to ensure that the design could accommodate the MEP infrastructure. This preliminary work was necessary due to the relationship between the new and existing facilities.

As a part of the design team, Syska is contributing to the development of a 3D model in an integrated BIM environment using Revit MEP Suite 2009 software. We are using the program to the fullest abilities for MEP design and analysis and working with AutoDesk to communicate suggested changes to support any future software updates or improvements.

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. 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 (cubic feet per minute), obtain quantity take offs and to incorporate "smart tags" to support commissioning efforts.

Syska also utilized the architectural 3D 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 exhausting of carbon monoxide.

  • CFD image
  • Courtesy of Gould Evans Associates


695,000 sf