Austin Utilities Groundbreaking
Austin Utilities celebrated their new $16.9M Central Facility with a groundbreaking ceremony this week in Austin, Minnesota. In attendance were Mayor Tom Stiehm, members of the Austin Utilities leadership and the public. Austin Utilities, a municipal provider of electricity, natural gas, and water services, chose TKDA to master plan and design their new central service center which consolidates operations into a single facility while increasing efficiency and productivity. The 102,000 square foot, one-story building includes offices, staff support spaces, repair shops, warehouse, vehicle storage and vehicle maintenance area.
Several energy saving options were explored for the project including solar shading, photovoltaic, and wind turbine energy generation as a means of achieving energy efficiency and as a teaching tool. Some options are being implemented immediately with plans to add others in the future. When the facility is completed in the spring of 2016, it will feature geothermal heating and cooling, LED lighting with occupancy sensors, daylight harvesting with solar light tubes, sunshade overhangs, a light colored roof, automatic darkening glazing in the Board and meeting room, and a solar heat recovery wall on the garage. In addition, portions of the building were designed and built to withstand an F2 tornado.
TKDA CEO Bill Deiter (left) and Architect Peter Brožek (second from right) play in the dirt at the Austin Utilities Groundbreaking Ceremony.