PPP- The four municipal courts

  • Retten i Herning: Retssal Retten i Herning: Retssal
  • Retten i Herning: Udefra Retten i Herning: Udefra
  • Retten i Holbæk: Retssal Retten i Holbæk: Retssal
  • Retten i Holbæk: Interiør Retten i Holbæk: Interiør

On 1 January 2007, the previous 82 district courts were merged into 24 new district courts at the same time when substantive reforms were implemented. Thus, new demands were made for the size and layout of the court buildings.

First time 1

On the basis of a concrete suitability assessment, the construction of the new court buildings in Herning, Holbæk, Holstebro and Kolding was tendered as four contracts combined in one PPP tender, so that a single PPP supplier would become the contract party for all four projects. It was the first time that the Danish Building and Property Agency has chosen this solution and the project shows that overall economic benefits can be gained.

In 2009 along with the individual courts and the Danish Court Administration, the Danish Building and Property Agency completed the tender in a competitive dialogue, where the tenderers were given the opportunity to challenge the tender documents. On 4 June 2010, the Danish Building and Property Agency entered into the four contracts with the winning tenderer.

First time 2

In connection with the projects, the Danish Building and Property Agency used an incentive theory concerning energy consumption for the first time. The incentive theory means that in connection with its offer, the PPP supplier furnished expected energy consumption for the building-specific energy consumption, meaning electricity and heating, which is the consumption that the Danish Building and Property Agency pays the PPP supplier for throughout the entire contract period.

This gives the PPP supplier an economic incentive to carry out profitable energy optimisations for the duration of the contract, since they will continue to receive payment for the originally budgeted consumption. If consumption is found to be higher than budgeted, the PPP supplier is not compensated for the extra consumption, and the Danish Building and Property Agency can issue a penalty in connection with the violation and demand that the PPP supplier initiates additional measures.

The users of the four buildings also have an incentive for energy-conserving conduct, since they pay for the user-dependent energy consumption themselves, which basically is what is connected to an electrical outlet.

It is the experience of the Danish Building and Property Agency that the tenderers both for the four municipal courts and in the subsequent tender, where the model has been used, have had considerable focus on ensuring optimisation of energy consumption with both passive and active measures.

Authority, integrity and credibility

In the invitation to tender, emphasis was put on the court buildings signalling outwardly that this is the home of Denmark's courts - so it must be clear to everyone that the buildings are precisely court buildings. In a modern and long-lasting manner, the buildings must exude the seriousness and authority, which naturally must be associated with a building that houses the judicial powers.

The buildings must also support the court's special position in the cities as a representative of the third power of the state. The court buildings must exude dignity, credibility and integrity, and at the same time appear approachable and open.

Early commissioning

Under the terms of the contracts, the individual court buildings were to be taken into use by 1 July 2012. The good cooperation between the PPP supplier, the Danish Building and Property Agency, the Danish Court Administration and not least the individual courts has resulted in earlier commissioning for two of the court buildings. So the Court in Herning was taken into use on 1 March 2012, while the Court in Holstebro was taken in use on 1 April 2012.


Institution: The courts in Herning, Holbæk, Holstebro and Kolding as well as the Local District Court of Western Denmark in Kolding

Location: Herning, Holbæk, Holstebro, Kolding

Commissioner: The Danish Building and Property Agency (the former Danish Agency for Palaces and Cultural Properties)

Developer: A.E. 4 retsbygninger A/S

Architect: Arkitema A/S

Engineer: Bascon A/S

Contractor: A. Enggaard A/S

Year of commissioning: 2012

Area: Herning: 4,000 m2; Holbæk: 4,100 m2; Holstebro: 4,100 m2; Kolding: 6,300 m2

Operator: YIT A/S