Under Construction

Under Construction: Top Facility Projects of August 2023

Facilities Management Advisor’s “Under Construction” series highlights some of the latest, most interesting facility project announcements every month.

LEED Platinum Warehouse

Developers of the massive Bronx Logistics Center project in New York City have received a precertification letter from the U.S. Green Building Council designating the project with a LEED v4 Platinum rating, the highest LEED certification available by the governing body. The 1.3 million square-foot project joins only a handful of warehouse and distribution centers nationwide to achieve LEED Platinum status.

Rendering courtesy of Turnbridge and Dune

Organizations: Turnbridge Equities and affiliates of Dune Real Estate Partners LP
Location: Bronx, New York City
Type of project: New build
Size: 1.3 million square feet
Estimated cost: N/A
Status: Ground broken in 2021
Expected completion: By year-end 2023

Interesting tidbit: The Bronx Logistics Center will contain its own Con Edison electrical substation housed within its walls, providing power for up to 100% of its structured parking stalls to accommodate electrical vehicle (EV) charging and future EV tractor-trailer charging. Additionally, the project will feature a 2.9-megawatt solar array on the building’s rooftop, making it one of New York City’s largest private sources of renewable energy. The property will include bicycle storage rooms, smart metering for managing water usage, light fixtures intended to limit light pollution, and MERV-13 filters to improve indoor air quality, among other green power and carbon offsets.

Quote: Turnbridge Managing Principal Ryan Nelson said, “We wanted to approach the design and development of Bronx Logistics Center mindfully with respect to sustainability, which can be quite impactful for a project of this scale.”

More details available here.

Cincinnati’s First Mass Timber Building

Although many builders rely heavily on steel and concrete these days, wood is making a comeback through sustainable mass timber. Global builder Skanska and Cincinnati Public Radio (CPR) have broken ground on a new headquarters for the broadcast organization. Once complete, the CPR HQ will be the first two-story mass timber building in the Midwest and the first of its kind in Cincinnati.

Rendering courtesy of Skanska

Organization: Cincinnati Public Radio 
Location: Cincinnati
Type of project: New build
Size: 35,000 square feet
Estimated cost: $32 million
Design-build team: Skanska, Emersion DESIGN, Schaefer Inc., and Neyer Properties
Status: Ground broken Aug. 23
Expected completion: Winter 2024

Interesting tidbit: The new CPR HQ will feature cutting-edge technologies and sustainable construction methods, with a particular focus on the utilization of cross-laminated timber. According to Skanska, mass timber is a lower-carbon material compared to concrete or steel and is a renewable resource that can be sourced locally from sustainably managed forests, thus limiting vehicle miles traveled and further reducing a project’s carbon footprint.

Quote: Dean Lewis, Skanska’s director of mass timber and prefabrication, said, “While most mass timber projects are hybrids in which the lateral system is comprised of steel or concrete, this project’s lateral system is composed of cross-laminated timber shear walls, making it an almost completely mass timber superstructure. I look forward to seeing more mass timber projects in the Midwest, as cities aim to build healthier, more sustainable built environments.”

More details available here.

Resilience Upgrades at Public Assembly Building

The Sonoma County, Calif., Board of Supervisors approved a $3.5 million project to make the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building more energy efficient and resilient to power outages and climate change. Constructed in 1948, the building is the county’s largest public assembly facility of its type and is used daily by military veterans and various community groups. The upgrades will also allow the building to be used as a public cooling center during extreme heat events.

Courtesy: Sonoma County

Organization: Sonoma County government
Location: Santa Rosa, Calif.
Type of project: Renovation
Size: 45,650 square feet
Estimated cost: $3.5 million
Status: Announced Aug. 22
Expected completion: TBD

Interesting tidbit: Upgrades include LED lights, new digital controls for automatic and remote management, and a switch from natural gas heating to electric. The center will install a solar canopy and a battery energy storage system, which will allow the facility to take advantage of lower electricity rates and operate as a fully powered island during blackouts. Ultimately, the project is expected to pay for itself through incentives and lifetime energy savings.

Quote: Board Chair Chris Coursey noted the facility “also plays a critical role during disasters, serving as a regional evacuation hub and emergency shelter. Today’s investment will ensure this 75-year-old building continues to serve the public, in good times and bad, well into the future.”

More details available here.

Largest Airport-Hosted Renewables Project

Dominion Energy and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) have broken ground on the Dulles Solar and Storage project at Dulles International Airport. Once complete, it will be the largest renewable energy project ever developed at a U.S. airport. It will generate up to 100 megawatts (MW) of solar energy and store up to 50 MW of power, enough clean energy to power more than 37,000 Virginia homes at peak output. All the energy produced will serve Dominion Energy Virginia utility customers.

Rendering courtesy of Dominion Energy

Organizations: Dominion Energy and MWAA/Dulles International Airport
Location: Dulles, Va.
Type of project: New build
Size: Across 835 acres
Estimated cost: N/A
Status: Ground broken Aug. 22
Expected completion: Late 2026

Interesting tidbit: The partnership includes a “first-of-its-kind” lease agreement that will further advance renewables and electric vehicles (EVs) at Dulles International Airport. Instead of annual lease payments to MWAA for hosting the project, Dominion Energy will develop two 1 MW solar carports that will partially power Dulles facilities, as well as provide 18 electric transit buses, 50 electric fleet vehicles, and EV charging stations for Dulles operations.

Quote: Dominion Energy President and CEO Bob Blue said, “This is an exciting moment for the future of clean, reliable energy, not only for Virginia but for the entire nation. Thanks to our strong partnership with MWAA, millions of travelers flying in and out of Dulles every year will see this powerful symbol of the clean energy transition.”

More details available here.

Minnesota’s First Net-Zero Library

The City of Howard Lake, Minn., and design firm BKV Group have partnered to build the first net-zero-energy library in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. The new Howard Lake Library will replace the current two-story building located a few blocks away, where the library has operated since 1979. Although the partners evaluated the reuse, renovation, and expansion of the existing facility, a feasibility study found spacing constraints and determined myriad benefits of relocation.

Rendering courtesy of BKV Group

Organization: City of Howard Lake
Location: Howard Lake, Minn.
Type of project: New build
Size: 17,000 square feet
Estimated cost: N/A
Design-build team: BKV Group
Status: Ground broken July 13
Expected completion: Year-end 2024

Interesting tidbit: As a net-zero-energy building, Howard Lake Library will generate renewable power on-site that is equal to or greater than the total amount of energy consumed. Sustainability features include highly insulated foundations, walls, and roofs; building and window placement for passive solar gain; and rooftop-mounted solar panels as the source of the property’s renewable energy. The project also complies with Minnesota’s statewide B3 Sustainable Building Guidelines, which establish sustainability goals for site, water, energy, indoor environmental quality, materials, and construction.

Quote: Susan Morgan, BNV Group’s education and library practice leader and partner, said, “There are currently just a small handful of net-zero libraries across the country, and those tend to be sub-15,000-square-foot profiles in large urban areas. This is truly a watershed moment for the state of Minnesota as well as the city of Howard Lake and the many partners on the project dedicated to bringing to the community the highest-quality, most energy-efficient public library, which will serve as a center for education, programming, and socializing for decades to come.”

More details available here.

Honorable Mentions

Do you have a major project announcement you’d like considered for the “Under Construction” series? Please contact Editor Joe Bebon at JBebon@BLR.com.

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