Bus

L.A. Metro opens new 'green' bus facility

Posted on February 9, 2016

Photo: Gary Leonard for Metro
Photo: Gary Leonard for Metro
Following three years of construction, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) inaugurated a new, $120 million state-of-the-art bus maintenance and operations facility in downtown Los Angeles. The Division 13 facility began operations earlier this month.   

Division 13 bus maintenance bays feature skylights and bright colored paint that provide reflected light, reducing the need for electricity. Division 13 will achieve a Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating from the U.S. Green Building Council and is Metro's sixth LEED building.

Division 13 will serve as a bus maintenance, operations and service facility with a multi-level parking garage that accommodates 200 CNG buses, fueling equipment, transportation offices and support areas. The facility, which incorporates many sustainable design features, received $53.2 million in federal funding toward the $120 million total project cost.

RNL provided sustainable design, architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, and lighting design on Metro Division 13 Bus Operations & Maintenance Facility in Downtown Los Angeles. Photo: Chang Kim-Maintenance Design Group for Metro
RNL provided sustainable design, architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, and lighting design on Metro Division 13 Bus Operations & Maintenance Facility in Downtown Los Angeles. Photo: Chang Kim-Maintenance Design Group for Metro

At capacity, the facility will be able to support approximately 525 employees and 200 buses. Sustainable design features include:
•       Rooftop and façade-mounted photovoltaic panels to generate up to 10 percent of the building’s electrical needs.
•       Skylights and white-colored interiors to reflect light, reducing electricity needs.
•       Shade structures and natural ventilation to reduce energy needs.
•       An integrated 275,000-gallon cistern and system of pumps/filters to reuse rainwater for bus washing.
•       A green roof that serves as an employee amenity, and addresses storm water run-off and urban heat island effect.

Photo: Chang Kim/Maintenance Design Group for Metro
Photo: Chang Kim/Maintenance Design Group for Metro

Incorporated within the design is a 275,000-gallon cistern and pump that repurposes rainwater for bus washing and other uses. Also, the rooftop features a garden with native California plants to combat storm water run-off and the urban heat island effect.

“Division 13 is more than just a new facility to do our work,” said LA Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington. “This advanced facility is a concrete example of how innovative thought can go from the drawing board to the street corner and we are committed to many more forward-thinking projects like this one.”

International architecture, planning and design firm, RNL provided sustainable design, architecture, interior design, landscape architecture and lighting design on the 540,000-square-foot project.

Photo: Chang Kim/Maintenance Design Group for Metro
Photo: Chang Kim/Maintenance Design Group for Metro

“In addition to optimizing our bus transit service throughout the Central Los Angeles region, RNL and MDG designed Division 13 to support the overall health and safety of Metro employees,” said Tim Lindholm, executive officer, Capital Projects with Metro. “Additionally, Division 13 is on track to achieve a LEED Gold rating.”

The three-level complex includes a maintenance facility with 19 service bays for the operation and maintenance of Metro’s growing fleet, and 382 employee parking spaces.

Division 13 also features a unique artwork titled El Aliso de Los Angeles, commissioned by LA Metro from German artist Christine Ulke, depicts a sycamore tree that stood a few blocks south of Division 13 for approximately 400 years. The majestic tree is depicted as a series of graphite drawings laminated to polycarbonate panels.

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