Four trends affecting correctional facilities design

Construction teams work together to improve their efficiency through collaboration and the design of new layouts bonuses.

1. Special Management House

Special management housing is one of the major trends in design. This trend focuses on addressing medical and mental health conditions. As an example separate mental-watches for men and woman can be included in the separate treatment unit. It may also prove necessary to increase both the number of negative pressure cells and padded cell as well installing in-cell camera system for surveillance.

Owner of a replacement jail, which is under construction, requested to designate one of the 16 cell blocks as a unit that would include unique features such as wire mesh walls surrounding video visits and a greater level of security at the outdoor recreation area. The owner requested that one of sixteen cell blocks be reserved as an unit for mental healthcare, including the same features. According to this scenario, a little over 10% of cell block will be reserved for special management needs. These two units also were designed so that they could each accommodate one to two people.

2. Capacity increase

Corrections has had to increase its capacity. A number of facilities are experiencing increased demand due to border safety.

We see a growing acceptance of 4-man and 8-man cell constructions compared to two-man conventional jail cells. The hybrid method offers the same level security as a two-man cell, but at a lower cost. It uses less fixtures, doors and partitions.

3. Builds

The economic climate will determine whether new construction is undertaken or existing facilities are expanded.

The cost of a newly built home is usually higher than that of renovating. But the benefits of increased safety, security and efficiency are significant.

This flexibility is possible because of the new construction. This can lead both to increased productivity and in certain cases reduced costs.

The cost of new construction is also higher. Therefore, investment premiums for the latest technology such as more efficient electrical and mechanical equipment or better security electronics equipment only represent a fraction. Owners can expect to pay a higher price for improved facility efficiency. The cost of upgrading an existing building is perceived to be higher because it requires removing the old equipment and replacing it. It is possible that the upgrade costs are higher even though the old systems still do the same work.

In order to cut operating costs while being responsible stewards and to save money, agencies will now look at not only upfront construction costs but also overall ownership costs. Owners of new buildings are looking to reduce their operating and utility costs.

4. Specialty Suppliers

There is a high demand for specialized partners and providers due to the volume of constructions projects that are underway or planned. This is a significant challenge for a labor pool that’s already stressed.

The increasing demand for detention-related products and related services increases costs and delays in obtaining materials. It is likely that this situation will continue in the very near future.

What are the contractors’ solutions to this challenge? Teams are adapting design decisions for longer leads times to account of budget and timing constraints that fluctuate as the production capacities of various components change with current or future project completions. The capacity and current of a supplier can have an impact on the design decision for a specific cell type. This can impact the design strategy to construct the structural structure. A higher demand can lead to longer schedules for construction. The result can be a delay of the completion date as well an increase in construction cost. Limited manufacturing capacity, coupled with an increase in demand, encourages clients choose contractors early. This allows the client to plan and purchase long-lead time items early.

Construction teams are working in tandem to improve efficiency, and to design correctional facility designs that meet both the needs and wants of owners as well as construction teams. The industry adapts its facilities to meet the changing needs of society by providing enough space and flexibility for both housing requirements and mental health.

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