A Closer Look at Government Buildings

Posted March 21, 2018 | Tags: Government Buildings

Government buildings, as the name suggests, are used for administration purposes. Town halls, Parliament buildings, Federal buildings, central banks, and centers offering public services such as registration all fall into this category. The most important word when it comes to this class of building is character. A government building is necessarily a reflection of the character of the government it represents. In most countries, governments are instituted through a democratic process and so they change every few years. This automatically means the character is also likely to change. Government buildings, therefore, are most likely to capture the prevailing character of the time in which they were built. So what trends can we see in government buildings today?

What Popular Trends do Government Buildings Follow?
Design Trends

There are many different types of government buildings, from correctional facilities and judicial buildings to public libraries and major transportation hubs. Each of these is showing a unique direction in design trends. However, there are some common trends that you will easily find across the board.
One of these is an improved utilization of space. Traditionally, space in government buildings has been partitioned into fully closed rooms. The modern trend is more open spaces which encourage groups to interact more and create synergy.

There is also a tendency to put different functions together. Public services will typically be grouped together and functions that take in the highest volume of employees, work, and members of the public seeking government services will be put on the lower floors of the building. Departments are typically consolidated as well to allow different departments to work together and reduce communication breakdown and redundancies.

Material Trends

Government buildings still feature plenty of concrete and marble, as these materials are the universal symbols of power and stability. However, there is a move in recent times toward green solutions and materials that promote this. Better circulation is achieved by using more natural ventilation. There is also a more passive design to reduce the reliance on artificial lighting and HVAC systems as little as possible.

Among the materials used the following are included:

  • Green roofing
  • Recycled concrete
  • Permeable pavements to encourage good drainage
  • Windows that are energy efficient
There is also an extensive use of LED lighting as they are known to consume much less energy than their fluorescent counterparts. In some cases, the grid is eschewed entirely in favor of solar power. With the development of better and more efficient solar panels, solar power has become a viable energy option. Not only is it capable of providing the same amount of energy as the grid in places with predominantly sunny weather, but it is also much cheaper than the grid.

Technology is also becoming a more common feature in government buildings. While government facilities are typically slower to take up new technologies compared to commercial facilities, they do catch up eventually and we can now see highly integrated systems in various government facilities, such as public libraries and transportation hubs. Electrical and mechanical systems in these buildings are becoming increasingly more integrated to make it possible monitor internal conditions and communicate. The overall result is that there is greater energy efficiency.


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