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Eco-Friendly Central Plant

Marcy Marro, Editor, Posted 12/01/2015

Metal roof helps central utility plant to blend seamlessly into surrounding environment

 

University of San Diego Jacobs Medical Center central utility plant, 2015 metal construction news building and roofing awards, judges awardA central utility plant (CUP) at a hospital may not seem very exciting to most people, but the two-story central plant at the University of California San Diego Jacobs Medical Center in La Jolla, Calif., caught the attention of the 2015 Metal Construction News Building and Roofing Awards judges.

Unlike a standard utility plant, the CUP is not a boring concrete box, but rather a carefully designed, curvilinear, eco-conscious facility with sweeping curves, floor-to-ceiling glass and eco-colors simultaneously blending into the surrounding environment, which earned it a Judges Award.

 

Dynamic Design

Designed by Cannon Design, Los Angeles, the 39,306-square-foot plant features three 1,300-ton water chillers, two 30,000-gallon underground fuel tanks, and four emergency generators. It is designed to support 900,000 square feet of hospital space with the capacity to serve 1 million square feet of future expansion. Completed in September 2014, the plant was designed with California's water conservation mandates in mind.

Located off-site from the main hospital campus and across the main loop road from a 10-story bed tower means the CUP is visible from the hospital campus. Since most people who will see the CUP will view it from above, the architects paid special attention to the building's roof and overall visual appeal.

On its south façade, the plant features a strategically designed window pattern that helps capture heat and provide maximum daylight. On its north side that faces the hospital campus and has no heat gain, the glazed façade echoes the design standards of the other Jacobs Medical Center buildings.

 

University of San Diego Jacobs Medical Center central utility plant, 2015 metal construction news building and roofing awards, judges awardBlending In

The plant's sweeping metal roof blends effortlessly into the surrounding landscape. To achieve this effect, the designers chose Reynobond aluminum composite material (ACM) from Alcoa Architectural Products, Eastman, Ga., in four custom color finishes of Antique Patina #7 paint coating. PPG Industries, Pittsburgh, supplied the ULTRA-Cool finish that appears to change hues of green.

Alsip, Ill.-based DAMS Inc.-D. Architectural Metal Solutions Inc. utilized its CCRS rainscreen system to design and fabricate a secondary curved roof cladding system that was suspended over the main green roof and rolled down the walls and over grade. The roof cladding system incudes aluminum support posts, secondary system framing and custom rollformed extrusion snap-in batten systems.

For the project, Best Contracting Services Inc., Gardena, Calif., installed 27,000 square feet of the 4-mm Reynobond ACM with a fire-resistant core in the CCRS rainscreen system on the walls, fascia, soffits and roof, along with an integrated custom aluminum extrusion battens system without showing exposed fasteners and sealant joints.

University of San Diego Jacobs Medical Center central utility plant, 2015 metal construction news building and roofing awards, judges awardShawn Bowman, national director of business development at DAMS, says consistency of the panels was one of the project's major goals and achievements. "The building has a flowing horizontal fascia that stretches from the rolling landscape to the roofline and back again," he says. "Alignment of the curved roof and wall panels was critical. The Reynobond panels were used to carry the crisp sight lines and provide the finish and performance values that were required by this project."

According to BEST's project manager Craig Mowatt and foreman Matt Palomino, their team worked closely with the general contractor and architect to work through the most challenging features of the architectural façade including minor design assist and field modifications.

The judges were intrigued by the use of metal on the central plant, specifically how it is used as part of the building mass. The judges called the project a wonderful, organic machine, while one judge said it was an innovative way to wrap and bring the wall down to the ground.

The central plant has achieved LEED Gold status, making it the first stand-alone medical center energy plant in the county to achieve this distinction.

 

University of California San Diego Jacobs Medical Center Central Plant, La Jolla, Calif.

Completed: September 2014

Total square footage: 39,306 square feet

Owner: University of California San Diego Healthcare System

General contractor: Kitchell Construction, San Diego

Architect: Cannon Design, Los Angeles

Installer: Best Contracting Services Inc., Gardena, Calif.

Fabricator: DAMS Inc.-D. Architectural Metal Solutions Inc., Alsip, Ill., www.damsinc.com

Aluminum composite material: Reynobond by  Alcoa Architectural Products, Eastman, Ga., www.reynobond.com

Coatings: PPG Industries Inc., Pittsburgh, www.ppgideascapes.com

Photos: DAMS Inc.- D. Architectural Metal Solutions Inc.

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