Richmond City Justice Center

2015 | Federal / State / County / Municipal | National Award of Merit

Design-Build Team Summary

Challenge Design-Build Project Delivery Addressed

One of the biggest challenges for the owner was the ability to maneuver to other options once design and construction began. This was directly addressed by implementing a GMP (Guaranteed Maximum Price) contract and ensuring that the owner’s program manager had funding set aside in a contingency fund. These provisions allowed the owner to set aside funds and keep doors open that would normally have been closed after the design phase.

Additionally, as the facility was a jail, the risks of constructing a new facility on a new site outweighed the challenges of constructing on the existing site. As a result, the parties involved had less space to operate and increased safety concerns. Just-in-time delivery practices were used in order to keep the project flowing without having a lay-down area for materials. For example, the precast structure of the building had a minute by minute delivery and erection schedule created and adhered to by the contractors.


The Richmond Justice Center was a project more than 20 years in the making. Replacing a facility built in the 1960’s that was approximately half the size of the new 412,000-square-foot center, the new Justice Center offers air-conditioned spaces for inmates and staff, medical and dental clinics and dedicated staff accommodations, including locker rooms, a fitness area and dining areas — all features that were lacking in the prior facility. Inmates that were previously housed in a communal enclosure surrounded by bars (sometimes up to 150 men at a time) are now housed in pods containing no more than 45 individual cells. These pods contain a day room, eating facilities and an exercise room, eliminating the need for inmate transport throughout the facility and providing a more secure environment for residents and staff.

Design-Build Team

Client/Owner: The City of Richmond
Design-Builder: HOK Architects
General Contractor: Tompkins/Ballard Joint Venture
Architect: HOK Architects
Engineers: Wiley Wilson, ReStl Designers Inc., T.K. Davis, The Bell Company, Watson Electrical, Esitech, Cornerstone Detention Products, VHB, Tindall
Duration of Construction: 43 months
Project Cost: $123,520,536