Sustainable Design for East Valley Bus Maintenance Facility Will Make It the Largest and One of the First of Its Kind to Receive LEED™ Certification

102,350 square foot facility serving 250 buses is registered with the US Green Building Council.

(PRWEB) February 15, 2005 -- Designed by the team of RNL Design and Maintenance Design Group (MDG), the facility will be certified at the Silver Level, making it the largest and one of the first bus maintenance facilities in the U.S. to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The City of Tempe Redevelopment Review Committee approved conceptual designs for the new East Valley Bus Operations and Maintenance Facility in January.

The City and design team are working together to implement sustainable design for this facility and the City is also pursuing sustainable design for the Tempe Transportation Center project. Implementing LEED™ principles and certifying the project ensures specific sustainable, energy efficient, and water-saving criteria are met. The Silver Level is a step above the Certified Level in USGBC’s progressive LEED™ certification levels.

“The Bus Operations and Maintenance Facility offers a terrific opportunity for incorporating green building principles. We can reduce the local heat island effect and recharge the groundwater by using permeable paving or stabilized decomposed granite for employee parking,” says Bonnie Richardson, Architect and Principal Planner for the Transportation Division of the City of Tempe, and LEED™ Accredited Professional.

The new facility, which is owned and operated by the City of Tempe, will include 75,600 square feet of maintenance space, 7,100 square feet of fuel and wash space, and 19,650 square feet of administration and operations space, and will serve as a base for a 250-bus fleet. The City of Tempe Transportation Division provides transit services to Tempe, Scottsdale and the surrounding areas as part of the Regional Public Transportation Authority/Valley Metro Transit Agency.

Water conservation is a key consideration for design. At full capacity, the 250 buses at the facility will be serviced and washed daily.
“We have the chance to focus on water conservation on this site, filtering, storing and reusing grey water while reducing the demand for water from the City’s system. Energy conservation is another area of focus, using high performance systems, natural light, and alternative sources of energy to reduce operational expenses and optimize energy performance,” Richardson adds.

The 25-acre complex situates the publicly accessed administration/operations building at the east end of the site with a large, curved spine canopy structure defining the public plaza and entry. The maintenance building and other facilities are located within a secured yard. The design incorporates sleek metal panels and tilt-up stained concrete panels in reference to the buses and transportation functions housed there. Recognizing the site’s proximity to Sky Harbor airport, the buildings are defined by large, curving roof structures, providing a clean roof plane. Daylight spines and curved roof volumes open towards the north, and are complemented by the extensive use of curved tensile fabric at the bus canopies, bus shelter and other locations.

Richardson is excited about the future of sustainable design in Tempe. “The RNL and MDG team has done a great job of designing a functional, attractive facility that will help set a new standard for sustainable building in Tempe. Their thoughtful and creative approach to the environment and the health and productivity of the employees will benefit the City and the surrounding communities far into the future,” Richardson says.

Design is expected to be complete in August 2005, with construction scheduled to begin in the fall of 2005.

RNL Design is an integrated full service architectural firm with offices in Denver, Los Angeles and Phoenix, serving clients locally, nationally and internationally. Since its inception in 1956, RNL has built its practice providing innovative design solutions to clients, surpassing their expectations and bringing ideas to life. RNL offers clients a continuum of design services, including architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, urban design and planning, and engineering. For more information, please visit

MDG is a specialty consulting firm that assists owners, architects engineers, and other professionals with the planning and design of transit, public works, utility, school, and governmental operating and maintenance facilities. For more information please visit