by Michele Reesink, Director of Business Development
photography courtesy of Indigo Architects
Glumac provided lighting and electrical design services for the $2.75 million, five-acre Vacaville Intermodal Station, which opened in early 2011. Our responsibilities included selecting light fixtures, designing the photovoltaic (PV) system, and providing simulation services in support of achieving Net Zero energy.
A key design consideration of this station was to provide passengers with comfortable and safe waiting areas. Indigo | Hammond + Playle Architects (Indigo) took care to design shelters which are shaded in the summer, sheltered but sunny in the winter, and well-lit and secure year-round. Handcrafted stegosaurus-like glass windscreens provide protection from strong delta breezes and windblown rain, and transform shelters into glowing havens which beckon patrons while enhancing nighttime safety. Precisely manufactured lighting fixtures and the use of motion-activated lighting also allow night-sky light pollution to be mitigated.
Safety was also of utmost importance to local law enforcement, who were consulted on the design. The original design was to have all pole lighting fixtures on high/low to meet the standard police department requirement for minimum lighting. But convincing local law enforcement to accept an “under-lit” parking lot turned out to be easy. The design team explained the concept of our motion-activated lighting scheme; law enforcement officials saw this as an aide for alerting patrol officers to activity, while providing visitors with light where and when they need it. In the end, we were able to go with half of the pole lighting on high/low and the other half on on/off (controlled by the motion sensors) to save energy.
The motion-activated lighting controls scheme also helped the design team in their plans to achieve net zero energy. The station was designed with LED fixtures for maximum efficiency. The controls run the LED fixtures on both an astronomical timer and motion-activated sensors. From dusk until dawn, the LEDs run at 50% brightness until sensed motion brings them up to 100% brightness. LED luminaires are exclusively used in the parking lot, bus shelters and art-glass windscreens.
The station is powered by a 25-kW roof-mounted photovoltaic system, which should produce enough energy to power the entire facility including ten bus bays, five large bus shelters, clock tower, and lighting for the 245-space parking lot. Glumac conducted the load calculation and provided Indigo with the square footage needed for the PV panels to produce ample energy. Placement of the photovoltaic panels was critical; roofs were sloped and oriented for maximum solar exposure and placed to avoid shading one another. The passenger loading platforms were oriented so that all bus shelters - with PV panels - would face south.
Glumac took care to identify and minimize all the loads used in the project and carefully documented the operating hours in which these loads would be utilized. Designing with this information in mind was critical for efforts to achieve Net Zero energy. Based on the first few months of the electrical utility statements, the site has been performing in line to achieve Net Zero. Glumac will be continuing to track actual usage data to verify performance and submit the project for Net Zero Energy certification.
To learn more, enjoy our video on the project.