Aguirre Roden (Track3) + Lockwood, Andrews and Newnam completes adaptive re-use for Dallas Area Rapid Transit
In the process of acquiring land for a light rail transit station in South Dallas, the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) came into possession of a 100 year-old building that had been used as a maintenance facility for the Dallas Interurban Railway, an electric train system that operated in Dallas from 1908 through 1948. This building had been placed on the National Register of Historic Places, complicating rehabilitation and remodeling efforts. The building stood vacant and deteriorating for 50 years.
Both the City of Dallas and DART desired to put this building back into productive use. DART decided to use this building as a headquarters for their transit police force. The primary difficulty was how to accommodate 65,000 square feet of required program space into an existing building footprint of 28,000 square feet. In addition, the existing building was a single story high-bay space with the clear height to the bottom of the roof trusses of 30 feet.
By utilising innovative techniques, the design team was able to fit three floors into the existing building envelope while addressing both the historic fabric of the building envelope and DART's desire for sustainability and LEED certification.
One of these innovative techniques was an underfloor distribution system for conditioned air, plumbing and electrical power. This eliminated overhead clearances required for ductwork, conduit and piping and allowed three floors to be built within the existing space. Another innovation was the 'box within a box' system, designing the interior spaces separated from the uninsulated historic brick exterior bearing walls. Other innovative systems were chosen for sustainability reasons.
The total result of these innovative systems was that this facility has achieved LEED Platinum certification, the highest level of sustainability in the LEED system, and the first historic building to achieve such a feat.