View this PageEdit this PageAttachments to this PageHistory of this PageRecent ChangesSearch the SwikiHelp Guide

The Courtroom Design and Research Center Progress Report

CDRC Progress Report
Revised Draft: February, 2000
Not for distribution

Note to reviewers: Please feel free to add comments directly to this page using the comment boxes that appear at the end of each section. Type in the box, then click "Add to the Page."

Contents
1. Executive Summary ->

1.1 Overview ->

1.2 Preliminary conclusions ->

2. Introduction ->

2.1 The larger context and motivation ->

2.2 The simulator function of the mock-up ->

3. Functions of the CDRC ->

3.1 Design support for specific projects ->

3.2 Support testing, evaluation, research and development ->

3.3 Support demonstration and training ->

3.4 Summary ->

4. Technologies of adaptability ->

5. Programming ->

6. Flowchart ->

7. Milestones ->

Appendices
A: The Research Team ->

Georgia Institute of Technology ->

Georgia State University ->

B: The Collaborative Online Courts (CoOL Courts) Website ->



1. Executive Summary

1.1 Overview

This report provides a preliminary business case for the Experimental Testbed Courtroom. (For the purposes of this document, we will refer to this project as the Courtroom Design and Research Center (CDRC)). All new federal courts projects and most state projects employ a full-scale mockup to illustrate and test the layout of courtrooms. These mockups range from rough simulations of major furniture elements to entire courtrooms complete with walls. The use of these mockups has resulted in considerable cost savings as a consequence of being able to detect problems early, before actual installation.

However, these mockups are limited. They are not reusable and they do not allow technology to be tested as part of testing the courtroom layout. This has resulted in some errors in specifying the technology or has required costly retrofits of courtrooms. The lessons learned from testing the mockups are not catalogued and need to be re-established for each project. The purpose of this planning process is to explore the feasibility and desirability of constructing a centralized design support, education and research facility.

The team has focused on several questions:

To explore these questions, the team interviewed architects, judges, government staff, manufacturers of modular building systems, scenery designers and managers of mock court facilities in law firms. We also visited Courtroom 21, a "Courtroom of the Future" in Williamsburg, Virginia. In addition, the team analyzed recent courtrooms to understand the variability in dimension, layout and electronics that need to be supported.

Add comments here:

does anyone know of a courtroom set up for a judge to remain standing instead of sitting all day
the layout of a courtroom that indicates the roles of the people involved




images of design courtrooms






Oh boy?


1.2 Preliminary conclusions

A centralized facility has several advantages over using specially-built mockups onsite at individual building projects:

A centralized facility has the disadvantage that is does not allow the ongoing day-to-day participation by court staff that can occur with an onsite mockup. However, this may be partially mitigated by providing access to the facility via video conference or over the Internet. In addition, virtual reality technologies are rapidly becoming practical as ways of providing convincing simulated experience. "Virtual reality," or VR, is where a user experiences a computer-generated model of a setting and can manipulate or move through it. VR ranges from relatively simple computer models that a user can manipulate on a desktop computer, to more elaborate set-ups where a user dons a helmet and gloves and actually walks through simulated facilities. At the high-end, VR may be projected on an all surfaces of a "cave," providing a very convincing experience of reality.

A survey of the demands on courtroom mockups in terms of adaptability of shape, layout and scenery, and control of internal environment variables has shown that it is impractical to accommodate these needs in one single mock-up. The goals of creating a rapidly and easily changeable mockup are at odds with creating one that can be used for acoustics and lighting testing. In response, we are proposing several elements in the CDRC: hard-shell mockup courtrooms that can accommodate technology testing; rapid-prototyping courtrooms that allow rapid changes during testing; a technology demonstration and testing area; education and testing facilities that are accessible to the mockups and technology demonstration area; a computer cluster for courtroom automation instruction; a shop; an office area; and support facilities.

Add comments here:




2. Introduction

This project arose out of extended discussions between Georgia Tech, the Georgia State University Law School, the Administrative Office of the Georgia Courts, the Administrative Office of the US Courts, the US General Services Administration and the Courthouse Management Group of the US General Services Administration and others. The intention is to create a centralized full-scale courtroom simulation facility that will:

As is shown in Figure 1, below, the project is focused on integrating design research, new technologies and education to produce courtrooms that are more efficient to design, have higher performance and where staff and design teams are better trained. At the core of this effort is a constant process of monitoring and research, where new trends are analyzed and new technologies and legal and social trends explored.

Uploaded Image: courts_triangle.gif
Figure 1: The CDRC links innovative design to research and training.


We address several questions in this report:



Add comments here:
coco was here


2.1 The larger context and motivation

The research team views this project as an opportunity to support safer and more effective courtroom design. Many people find conventional plans difficult to visualize. The use of full-scale mockups and computer simulation will allow judges, staff, technology consultants, security staff and others provide more meaningful input during early project design, when changes are relatively easy to accommodate.

We also view the CDRC as a broader educational, service and research opportunity. Students, faculty and the private sector will explore the social, technical and historical issues surrounding a highly significant public building type. The CDRC will provide interesting projects for architecture, industrial design and law students. It will allow the research team to serve as a clearinghouse for research information and to conduct think-tank discussions about the future of courts and the future of public architecture. The CDRC will create a state-of-the-art simulation facility that will explore the relationship of full-scale simulation to computer technology. It will aid the development of next-generation computer models that will accurately support human experience through virtual and augmented reality yet will also provide the basis of integrated building models that can be used for design and facility management.

By focusing interest, resources and expertise, we see this as an opportunity to create several additional benefits:


Add comments here:
Good Job in a limited time. In India the courts will be different as there is no Jury system. We wonder if this could be included in your study. B. S. Patro & Prof. Mishra


2.2 The simulator function of the mock-up

Background
The CDRC is a simulation facility. The term "simulation" can be used for any experiment that is performed on a model (virtual or physical) of the real thing. The simulation model refers to both a set of physical (or virtual) objects and a set of humans that interact with these objects. Simulation may be used for either an existing or proposed courtroom, whenever the desired information or characteristic cannot be observed in the original, actual environment.

Computer simulation is not limited to providing the user a realistic experience of visiting the facility. A computer model potentially allows testing of lighting, acoustics, HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) and other qualities. The building industry is now developing integrated building models where a single computer model can be used for design, testing and construction. A single integrated building model can be developed by the designer and consultants, viewed by the clients, further tested by consultants, used by builders for construction and employed by facilities managers for maintenance. Researchers at Georgia Tech are leaders in developing integrated building models and the CDRC will be a center of this research.

Physical vs. virtual simulation
To date, very realistic simulation still requires the use of full-scale physical courtrooms or courtroom mockups. We expect that computer-generated virtual experiments with various forms of user interaction will gradually replace some aspects of physical mockups, and we intend to build and test various computer models for that purpose. They will be used both for virtual reality (VR) viewing and for development of integrated building models that form the basis to test lighting, acoustics, HVAC and other qualities without the necessity for actual physical experimentation. However, we expect that for the foreseeable future, the quality of virtual simulations will fall short of the demands of some of the stakeholders of courtroom experiments.

It is important to recognize that the courtroom simulator must offer a mix of virtual and physical simulation depending on type of scenario and client needs. Physical simulation will exclusively involve experiments conducted in full-scale mock-ups. Virtual experiments will be exclusively conducted through the manipulation of computer-stored representations of courtrooms.

The interface to physical simulations is offered by manually adjusting the mock-up parameters such as composition, size, materials etc. Experiments can be recorded and stored as video/audio recordings and data files.

The interface to virtual simulations can be a variety of human-computer interfaces, ranging from passively looking at rendered images (such as those produced by lighting simulation packages) to being actively immersed in a virtual reality (VR) using head-mounted displays. Intermediate forms such as desktop walk throughs and interactive IMAX theatre fly-throughs can be used as well. In many cases physical experimentation will be augmented by virtual simulation technologies, e.g. by deploying classic simulation tools to fill in the blanks in areas where the physical simulation is inadequate.

Augmented Reality as Transition phase
Many people expect computer-generated virtual simulation to become the dominant mode in the future. This is one of the most important agenda items for the CDRC, including exploring the feasibility of incorporating Augmented Reality into the CDRC. Augmented Reality (AR) provides a possible transition between using physical full-scale models and computer-generated models. Users wear semi-transparent visors where computer-generated images are superimposed on the real setting. For example, a user might walk through a physical full-scale courtroom mockup, viewing and interacting with a computer-generated judgeís bench

The next report will more fully develop the relationships between physical full-scale models and computer simulations. We anticipate that computer simulations will replace most physical simulations over a 5 to 10 year period, with AR providing a critical transition path.

Add comments here:


3. Functions of the CDRC

We anticipate the CDRC will support three basic functions: it will support specific design projects; it will provide a venue and framework for research and development; and, it will support demonstration, training and education.

3.1 Design support for specific projects


Participants: Project design team members, including judges, staff members, architect, and consultants

Time frame: One-half to two-day visits

Use scenario: The team moving back and forth from a training room to the courtrooms and freestanding elements

Flexibility needs: Courtrooms could be set up in a standard manner, such a courtroom reflecting design guide standards, or could be set up as a possible alternative for a specific design project

Technical requirements: No special requirements; a well-equipped classroom


Add comments here:
I am with Trinidad and Tobago and was wondering if there will be a conference on court design in the near future.



Several European cities and universities have created full-scale modeling facilities that are used for rapidly developing the initial designs of interiors. Users can build their own designs as they propose them and immediately see the impact of their decisions. If it is sufficiently flexible, with an easily modifiable kit of parts, the CDRC could conduct one-or-two-day design charrettes with designers, judges and courts staff.

Participants:
Project design team members, including judges, staff members, architect, consultants, supported by CDRC staff to manipulate the mockup

Time frame: Approximately two-day visits

Use scenario: The team moving back and forth from a project room to the courtrooms and freestanding elements

Flexibility needs: The team should be able to mock up their design rapidly, even in rough form

Technical requirements: The team needs a kit of parts that they can manipulate with minimal support and limited training. The intermediate and final solutions need to be documented, probably on video and as plans.

Comments: The CDRC could primarily a venu for charrette activity led by the project architect. CDRC staff could facilitate it, employing interactive programming techniques.


Add comments here:



It is unlikely that a centralized facility could provide an exact replica of a proposed courtroom, with complete final details, finishes, colors and furnishings. It appears more likely that a centralized mockup could provide a reasonable facsimile of the form of the courtroom with accurate furniture and technology placement and generally appropriate colors and finishes. The CDRC can also be used for more localized acoustic testing, such as microphone placement.

Participants: The entire design team or a subset of it, such as a technology consultant working with an architect

Time frame: Approximately two-day visits

Use scenario: The designers try out alternative technology solutions with alternative lighting, seeing which produce glare or which allow use of both computers and paper

Flexibility needs: The basic courtroom layout would be provided in advance and mocked up;

Technical requirements: Most modern courtroom lighting uses a combination of uplights, downlights and task lighting. Lighting studies of the well or bench likely require a ceiling to be plausibly simulated; more extensive lighting studies of courtrooms will require colors, materials and finishes to be at least reasonably close to the proposed design. Studies of the acoustics of the courtroom will require an enclosure that is solid and complete and is similar in materials and finishes to the final courtroom.

Comments: Lighting studies require accurate representations of color and finishes. Acoustic studies require that the test facility be acoustically isolated and that finishes are similar to the final design. These requirements may call for a mockup that is difficult to rapidly alter.


Add comments here:
Most courtrooms are designed around the bench and how it appears to those in the courtroom. To accomodate modern presentation technology and methods, future courtrooms should be designed around a presentation focal point, around what the judge and jurors see, not how they are seen. That focal point would contain–within the judge and jurors' same field of vision–the lectern, display screen and jury box. Thsoe three elements would be grouped together. That also means the bench and jury box–to the greatest extent possible–need to be in the same plane, ie: on the same side of the room. (Would you design a home theare by first arranging furniture aroudn the room then adding various screens to accomodate the furniture layout?) Partly because of poor fucking courtroom design, LCD panels in jury boxes and electronic lecterns are quite popular. But there are vastly cheaper and simpler solutions once a design concept begins with what the judge and jurors see. lpacker@xmission.com





Participants: Judges and courts staff working with designers

Time frame: Brief visits

Use scenario: Judges, staff and attorneys try out courtroom furniture, commenting on comfort, work flow and ergonomics

Flexibility needs: Ability to modify small details of the casework quickly

Technical requirements: The team needs a kit of parts that they can manipulate with minimal support and limited training. The intermediate and final solutions need to be documented, probably on video.

Comments: The CDRC could provide some of the benefits of an onsite mockup by providing video and computer access to the mockup.


Add comments here:


3.2 Support testing, evaluation, research and development


Participants:
Sitting judges, mediators, mock trial teams from law schools, moot court teams

Time frame: Extended tests of days or weeks

Use scenario: Participants conduct structured mock trials or actual proceedings and are systematically debriefed afterward; this could be rigorous experiments with a control group or could be in the context of ongoing improvement and development

Flexibility needs: The layout would be established in advance; small changes in casework or technology might be performed during testing

Technical requirements: The proceedings would be recorded on video, though broadcast quality is not required

Comments: Depending on demand, the mockups might be configured in basic dimensions, such as a trial courtroom and a smaller alternative dispute resolution space.


Add comments here:




Participants:
Sitting judges, mediators, mock trial teams from law schools, moot court teams

Time frame: Extended tests of days or weeks

Use scenario: Tests might include standardized tasks or could include mock or actual trials.

Flexibility needs: The casework designs would be developed in advance; small changes in casework or technology might be performed during testing

Technical requirements: The proceedings would be recorded on video, though broadcast quality is not required

Comments: Initial tests need not occur in a complete mock courtroomóa partial well might be sufficient. Georgia Tech has a nationally-known Center for Rehabilitation Technology that can assist in exploring issues of accessibility.



Add comments here:



3.3 Support demonstration and training


Participants: Project design team members, including judges, staff members, architect, consultants; technical school students

Time frame: Seminars lasting one day to one week

Use scenario: The teams moving back and forth from a training room to the courtrooms and freestanding elements; the training session could be recorded or broadcast

Flexibility needs: Courtrooms could be set up in a standard manner, such a courtroom reflecting design guide standards, or could be set up as a possible alternative for a specific design project

Technical requirements: No special requirements; a well-equipped classroom. If sessions are recorded for broadcast the training rooms and courtrooms need studio lighting and acoustic isolation.

Comments: The National Center for State Courts runs sessions on courtroom technology but has shifted its focus away from design.


Add comments here:




Participants:
Sitting judges, mediators, mock trial teams from law schools, moot court teams from high schools
Time frame: Extended tests of days or weeks

Use scenario: Tests might include standardized tasks or could include mock or actual trials. Initial tests need not occur in a complete mock courtroomóa partial well might be sufficient.

Flexibility needs: The casework designs would be developed in advance; small changes in casework or technology might be performed during testing

Technical requirements: The proceedings would be recorded on video. If broadcast quality is required, the courtrooms must be acoustically isolated and support studio lighting


Add comments here:


3.4 Summary

In sum, a centralized facility offers several advantages over existing practices:

A centralized facility offers several disadvantages with respect to onsite mockups and site visits:



Add comments here:



4. Technologies of adaptability

The key to adaptability is maximum "disintegration" of technologies in the experimental courtroom. This will be achieved by combining modular and open building technologies, flexible compartmentalized enclosure systems, elevated floors, suspended ceilings, AC and DC flexible wiring systems, wireless sensors, soft and hard infill systems, etc. Extra care will be taken to make each courtroom a self-contained unit that is minimally integrated with the building systems of the hosting facility.

We have had several discussions with Octanorm, USA; Octanorm is a manufacturer of high-end modular building systems. Octanorm has developed an extensive aluminum frame modular system that has been used for trade shows and other exhibits. It is promising as a direction for further development.

Environmental conditioning will require extra care:


Add comments here:



5. Programming

The functions of the CDRC will of course depend on demand and funding. However, there are several apparent conflicts to be resolved. The charrette scenarios call for rapid changing of the facility while the design team is present. This assumes standard kit of parts that are light and easy to handle. Testing of lighting and acoustics and longer term research call for more durable materials that simulate the final courtroom. This suggests several functions:


Add comments here:



6. Flowchart

7. Milestones
Note: the following schedule is dependent on State funding and on acquisition of a shell for the facility that requires only modest improvement.

March, 2000 Further development of the "business case" identifying users, more detailed scenarios of use and further specification of costs and income
Late March, 2000 Meeting of Advisory Panel
May, 2000 Development of detailed design brief for the facility
May, 2000 Identification of location (this is dependent on funding)
August 15, 2000 Conceptual design of the facility
Sept-Nov 2000 Design development and preparation of construction documents
Nov- June 2001 Contracting and construction



Add comments here:



Appendices


A: The Research Team

Georgia Institute of Technology

Craig Zimring is an environmental psychologist and associate professor of architecture and of psychologist. He has written extensively on post-occupancy evaluation (POE) and has worked with several large building delivery organizations help in the development of POE programs and online databases of evaluation information: the California Department of Corrections, Ministry of Education of France, Office of Foreign Buildings Operations of the US Department of State and others. He is responsible for overall project coordination and is the principal point of contact.
Godfried Augenbroe is a civil engineer specializing in building performance studies, building systems engineering and computer Supported Collaborative Work (CSCW) environments for concurrent engineering by building teams and design by simulation strategies.

Sabir Khan
is an architect and studio instructor. He has designed several courthouses and other justice facilities.

David Craig
is a doctoral student in the College of Architecture at Georgia Tech. He holds an undergraduate degree in physics from Harvey Mudd College, a masters in physics from the University of Colorado and a masters in design from Georgia Tech.

Debajyoti Pati
is a doctoral student in the College of Architecture at Georgia Tech. He holds an undergraduate degree in architecture from the University of Bombay and a masters degree in architecture from the University of British Columbia.

Georgia State University

Mark Kadish is the director of the Lawyer Skills Training Program at the Georgia State University College of Law. An experienced litigator, he is member of the Bar in Georgia, New York and Massachusetts and has been admitted to the United States Supreme Court and 19 other federal courts.

Ball State University

Mallika Bose is an architect, urban designer and architectural programmer who has conducted many studies of user-oriented architectural research. She has programmed several court facilities. She will be primarily responsible for developing the Courthouse After Next Working Groups.


B: The Collaborative Online Courts (CoOL Courts) Website

Peripheral to the CDRC will be a website maintained by faculty and students at Georgia Tech and contributed to by the larger courts research and design community. The site, currently labeled CoOL Courts (for Collaborative On-Line Courts), will post news related to courts research, design and construction on a regular basis. It will also include a monthly discussion forum, an ask-and-answer area, an up-to-date archive of current and upcoming courts projects around the country, a directory of courts research, a building products supply catalogue, and finally, an index of online and offline courts resources. The purpose of the website is to foster informal sharing between the diverse parties involved in courts design and research as well as to develop ideas that might be worthy of further research at the CDRC.



Add comments here:
just test comment





Uploaded Image: courts_web1.jpg   Uploaded Image: courts_web2.jpg
Uploaded Image: courts_web3.jpg   Uploaded Image: courts_web4.jpg








For more information on public architecture research at Georgia Institute of Technology visit http://www.publicarchitecture.gatech.edu