Sunshine naturally lights up the facilities
The new Air Operations Facility for the city of Los Angeles was built at Van Nuys Airport, the busiest general aviation airport in the world. The $51 million fire, police and maintenance facility was designed to boost the comfort, efficiency and emergency response time of the city’s 30 helicopters. “These emergency air operations and support centres are the most technologically advanced facilities in the nation today,” said city Engineer Garry Lee Moore. “Everything is about making it faster for planes to get in and get out.”
- The Los Angeles Fire Department operates a 57,000 (5,295 m2) square foot facility in the complex boasting a 40,000 (3,716 m2) square foot hangar capable of housing six large helicopters. It also houses a fire station.
- The Los Angeles Police Department operates a 9,000 square foot (836 m2) fixed wing hangar large enough to fit in two Beechcraft King Airs.
- The Department of General Services operates a gleaming 60,000-square-foot (5,574 m2) maintenance facility that can pack in six helicopters with rotors attached.
The complex designed by Liberstudio architects and built by Swinerton Builders achieved LEED Silver certification. “This is a green facility. They have taken into account how to save energy, how to save resources and make it a very efficient building,” said Tony Cardenas, Los Angeles City Council member.
- Reliability – For over 25 years, Megadoor has provided doors for emergency response facilities all over the world. From remote US Coast Guard facilities to high mountain rescue hangars. They know that when the “Open” button is pressed on a Megadoor, they will not be delayed.
- Eliminated floor tracks –Helicopters have small tires or require dollys that are cumbersome to manoeuvre over bottom-rolling door tracks which jostle equipment and personnel. In addition, the teams did not have to waste their time cleaning tracks that accumulate dirt and other debris, which can be hazardous at a heliport.
- Increased worker comfort and productivity – The old General Services maintenance facility was small, old and hot. Substantial productivity gains were achieved by providing the technicians with a larger, modern climatecontrolled facility. The extremely tight seals on the Megadoor were instrumental in minimizing the dirt infiltration into the pristine work area while the natural light shining through the translucent Megadoors improves moral.
- Reduced electrical and lighting costs – Translucent fabric of the Megadoor allows the abundant Southern California sunshine to naturally light up the facilities. This eliminates or greatly minimizes the need for artificial lighting during the daytime hours, reducing energy conception and maintenance of the lighting system.
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- Reliability – The Air Operations Facility is a critical link in providing immediate emergency support to the citizens of Los Angeles.
- Improve efficiency – The new 15-acre complex needed to be designed to minimize aircraft downtime and response times.
- LEED Silver certification – It was important to the people of Los Angeles that the facility was energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.
- Hangar door design and facilitated the structural integration of the door system with the building.
- Fire station: (4) 32'×16' (9.7 m × 4.8 m)
- Helicopter hangar: (3) 65'×27' (20 m × 8.2 m)
- Maintenance facility: (2) 117'× 25' (35.5 m × 7.6 m)
- Fixed-wing hangar: (1) 124'×16' (37.7 m × 4.8 m) 2-part