Eco-Friendly Central Plant
Metal roof helps central utility plant to
blend seamlessly into surrounding environment
A 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.
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.
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.
Shawn 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
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.
Total square footage: 39,306 square feet
Owner: University of California San Diego Healthcare
contractor: Kitchell Construction, San Diego
Design, Los Angeles
Contracting Services Inc., Gardena, Calif.
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
PPG Industries Inc., Pittsburgh, www.ppgideascapes.com
Photos: DAMS Inc.- D. Architectural
Metal Solutions Inc.