Home Office + police forces

The central government's Better Public Buildings initiative set to raise the bar in public sector procurement. Police buildings are a sector for which the Home Office Design Panel provides design guidance and facilitation. To inform the evidence base on their effective design in functional as well as civic terms, the Home Office commissioned ZZA to undertake a post occupancy evaluation of the new North Kent Basic Command Unit building, procured by Kent Police. ZZA's research covered a cross-section of staff working in the building's range of operational facilities, as well as the experience of senior management and FM. Our report focuses on the building's functional performance, and highlights the relevance of reviewing design from an operational perspective.

With ongoing changes in technology and approaches to front line service, as well as property responses to promote efficient and effective service delivery, police buildings are subject to continued innovation. ZZA's follow-on post occupancy evaluations for other police authorities provide systematic knowledge of these transformations. These involve a range of building typologies - from naturally ventilated office filled with daylight to industrial 'shed' structures accommodating both office and custody functions, as well as hybrid approaches. The scope involves new clusters of functions across a wide range of policing activity, in new types of location for this sector.