The Intermodal Transportation Center (ITC) project started out of need for a parking lot and a bus stop on the site of the new Center of Excellence building, but the client wanted it to be more. The facility was to “tell a story” about sustainable design and inform the neighborhood of its work. They had a vision for the site to become an arts and cultural destination, to become a model of development for future urban books. A parking lot for 99 cars will be anchored by a large detention basin to mitigate the storm water run-off from within the site. Five parking spaces will be designated for hybrid vehicles and another five spaces will be equipped with car chargers for electric vehicle re-charging. A solar PV amature at the south edge of the parking lot will provide electricity to maintain the lighting and car charging stations. A small pavilion will become a shelter for bus passengers. The pavilion will have bike vending available for people to rent bikes, vending machines for a quick snack and lockers to store possessions. While waiting on a cold day, passengers can sit on a radiant bench, heated by the sun. A display wall will actively monitor the energy usage and production of the facility and allow workers to see work that is being done. It is intended to be “net zero”.
The ITC will incorporate several environmental features that will reduce energy consumption, mitigate storm water runoff and be a tangible example for other ecologically-minded urban projects in Syracuse.
The ITC project will collect site-generated storm water run-off in a shallow basin that will encourage evaporation as well as transpiration through its use of plantings. A controlled outflow will connects the basin to the city’s combined storm sewer system. As designed, this system will maintain storm water outflow at, or below allowable limits.
Solar Energy Collection is a major design feature of the ITC. Using either Photovoltaic (PV) and/or Solar Thermal Energy (STE) collection systems, the project is intended to generate all of its own energy – it is designed to be “net-zero”. This includes the required electric loads for the ITC equipment, as well as the LED parking lot lighting. The PV collection system will be tied to the sites electrical system, allowing the overall site to benefit from any excess power that is generated.
Solar power monitoring will be displayed to the general public, showing current usage as well as power being generated. The form of the collection structure will change seasonally in order to increase its efficiency. By adjusting orientation to changing sun angles, the adapting structure will visually demonstrate seasonal optimization.
In winter, part of the collected solar energy will be utilized to temper the environmental conditions for transit riders waiting for the bus. A heated bench and partial wind enclosure will provide a warmed micro -environment through the use of radiant technologies. Using energy collected through PV and/or STE collection systems, the Intermodal Transportation Center will provide a safe-haven from the cold winds and harsh temperatures of the Syracuse winter.