Calif.'s Big Blue opens new HOK-designed facility

Posted on September 24, 2009

[IMAGE]BigBlueBusfacility-full.jpg[/IMAGE]On Wednesday, Santa Monica Calif.'s Big Blue Bus began rolling into their new environmentally-friendly maintenance facility designed by the Los Angeles Office of HOK, an international architecture design firm.

The new 66,000 square-foot facility incorporates numerous sustainable features including the use of high-albedo concrete, a highly reflective concrete paving, in the vehicle maintenance yard used to keep the facility's microclimate cooler, as well as 80-kilowatt photovoltaic panels on the roof; an urban runoff system to filter storm water, detain and infiltrate most of the water on site, and reclaimed water for landscape irrigation.

Other features include low-flow plumbing fixtures; recycled content in major construction materials, including concrete, structural steel, reinforcing steel, metal studs, carpeting, gypsum board, finishes and insulation; white, single-ply roofing to reflect heat away from the building and low/no-VOC off-gassing materials and finishes.

It also includes energy efficient measures, including minimum energy water heaters; open repair bays designed and oriented to take advantage of the natural breezes and natural sunlight, resulting in a facility which uses little or no air conditioning; electric vehicle charging stations and low voltage lighting.

These improvements in sustainable design will enable the City of Santa Monica to reduce energy costs by up to 15 percent per year. The new facility also incorporates many of the strategies identified by the City's Office of Sustainability and the Environment building guidelines.

The facility contains a new bus maintenance building, bus parking and a maintenance yard to accommodate a diverse fleet of 204 buses. City employees will be able to maintain and repair up to 20 buses a day at the site, which has three extended bays to service the new 60-foot articulated buses and two bays dedicated to maintaining Santa Monica Fire Department vehicles. The facility will operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Additional partners and specialty consultants included: KPFF, civil and structural engineering; Syska Hennessey, MEP Engineering; Schirmer Engineering, fire, life safety and security; Melendrez Design Partners, landscape design; Vantage Technology Consulting, telecommunications; Maintenance Design Group, equipment planners; Martin Newson & Associates, acoustic design; Simpson Gumpertz and Heger, weatherproofing; Corson Art, public art artist; Selbert Perkins Design, interior and exterior signage and graphics; and Morley Construction Co., construction.


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