Home to the City of Norfolk’s government, courthouses, and jail, the Norfolk Civic Center Complex provides important public services to the city’s residents. To address issues of inefficiency, unreliability, and increasing operational costs, the city partnered with Fentress Architects and the Clark Nexsen energy consulting, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and civil engineers to investigate and develop solutions for the aging complex.

This consolidation project replaced multiple, individual courthouses with a single facility to deliver a safe, seamless experience for citizens and presented an opportunity for more efficient energy use. Leveraging our transdisciplinary expertise and collaborative approach, our mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineers worked together to create a CUP design that would more effectively meet the needs of the employees and the public by generating and distributing energy more efficiently while maintaining comfortable conditions.

In continuous use, the Civic Center requires uninterrupted, ongoing operations. Our team worked closely with the city to provide ongoing plant function via a staging plan. Ultimately, our design delivered a new central utility plant serving the complex with power, heating, and cooling.

We take pride in providing thoughtful stewardship to our government clients, enabling public facilities to operate at lower costs and provide a better experience.  The new CUP serves as an example as the result of a new mechanical system and a reconfigured chilled water plant, which significantly increases capacity and delivers better operational efficiency.