Police Facility Will Be First Ever Expected to Achieve LEED Silver Certification
When it was decided that a new police precinct was needed on Staten Island, a great deal of planning, thought and collaboration was warranted by the New York Police Department and the city of New York’s Department of Design and Construction when planning its uses, how it would interface with the neighborhood and the new technology that needed to be incorporated into the design. They chose Rafael Viňoly Architects, New York to design the station house.
The project has been selected by the Art Commission of the City of New York Award for Excellence in Design. The design review agency has recognized outstanding public projects that exemplify the highest design standards for over 26 years.
Located at 970 Richmond Avenue, near Foster Avenue, the site is sloped and spans the block. The handsome contemporary building is cantilevered in the front where the second story offers an overhang that shelters the public upon arrival and serves as a gesture of community involvement that defines the main entrance. The building is both two stories and one story with the single story flaring out facing south; the building gradually increases in height linearly as it approaches the commercial district on Richmond Avenue.
“We kept the building to two stories,” explained Fred Wilmers, AIA, LEED AP and Project Director at Rafael Viňoly, New York. “There is quite a hill on the site, so as it goes up the hill the roofline of the building slightly rises from one-story at the back to two-stories at the front.”
Most of the building is clad in Contrarian Metal Resources’ InvariMatte® Stainless Steel while the single story area is grey brick. The two facade treatments serve to differentiate the features of the building as does the varied heights. Outdoor mechanical services are concealed within the building form and integrated into an enclosure clad in InvariMatte.
Staten Island is the fasting growing borough in New York City and the new precinct serves as the face of the NYPD on the island.
The building is a model for sustainable design including the use of recycled asphalt pavement in driving lanes and permeable surfacing in low traffic parking spots. “We developed a storm water management plan that maximizes the use of the larger site,” explained Wilmers. ”There are five bio-retention cells that capture the rain that falls on the property which reduces the amount of water that enters the sewer system.”
It was designed to achieve Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification from the US Green Building Council. LEED addresses the entire lifecycle of the building and recognizes best-in-class building strategies. The program provides third party verification and building projects satisfy prerequisites that are determined to be the best fit for each project. Its goals are to: lower operating costs, increase asset values, conserve energy, water and other resources, be healthier and safer for occupants and qualify for money saving incentives like tax rebates and zoning allowances.
“The distinctive cantilevered design required all hand-made custom panels. It was the last area to be installed which gave us time to design our panels to fit,” explained Pat Diskin, CENTRIA Project Manager, Moon Township, PA.
Precinct 121 is a model for sustainable design and when it achieves LEED Silver Certification it will be the first police facility in New York to be designated so under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s PlaNYC 2030 sustainable design initiative.
The spacious building was designed to place detectives closer to the cell areas, a decision made to make it easier to interview prisoners. The site also includes work areas, administrative offices, interview rooms, a processing area, locker rooms, holding cells, lounges, evidence and record storage, a vehicle refueling station and screened parking. There is a skylight above the ground floor lobby that allows natural light to illuminate during daylight hours.
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Photography courtesy Rafael Viňoly Architects, (c) Bruce Damonte