The Miramar College Police Station includes a spacious reception area, conference room, offices, and a secure suspect processing area. These spaces are organized along the building’s perimeter to provide for a welcoming and well-lit area maximizing natural daylight. The station is attached to the campus side (west side) of the parking structure, creating strong visual integration of the new structure into the existing campus. The tower element provides clear visibility of the campus as well as future transit center, and enhances the sense of public safety. A terra cotta façade ties the new facility into the look and feel of existing buildings on campus. The adjacent three-story parking structure provides 815 parking spaces.
Automated direct digital control permits connection with outside conditions through the natural draft system. When exterior conditions permit, enhanced control sequences through motorized vents shut-off HVAC mechanical systems. The tower element serves as a solar chimney to create natural ventilation through the building. Automated louvers in the tower’s upper level allow warm air to rise by convection and escape to the outside. At the same time, cooler air is drawn in through vents on the lower level, replacing warm air with cooler air even after the sun has gone down.
Significant energy savings are achieved utilizing daylight harvesting. Main spaces are grouped along the building’s perimeter; large windows and light shelves provide day-lighting for these spaces. Internal areas are day-lit through solar tubes that bring light down into the interior from the roof.
As part of the College Mission Statement, the Police Station is designed to teach sustainable building design by making it a model in the pursuit of energy efficient construction. Used as part of the HVAC engineering curriculum, the structure becomes a living example. The energy use dashboard (available via the Web or a screen kiosk at the building) allows students, faculty, administrators and public to view real-time and historical use of electricity, heating and cooling energy.
The project obtained a LEED Platinum certification – the highest possible certification and the first Platinum project for a local community college.