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Inland Empire Transportation Management Center, Fontana, California, United States

Monday 09 Jul 2012

Remaining unshaken...

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Award Entry

AECOM design building that could remain operational in the event of a magnitude 7.5 earthquake 

AECOM provided engineering and architecture services for the Inland Empire Transportation Management Center (IETMC) in Fontana, California, completed in 2011. Shared by Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol, the facility is responsible for managing traffic conditions in two southern California counties and is situated in a high seismic risk zone affected by three major fault lines.

The challenge for the design team was to create an environmentally responsible building for a high-energy-demand facility type that could remain operational in the event of a magnitude 7.5 earthquake. AECOM's engineers enabled this challenge to be solved through the integration of high-efficiency technologies and the design of a base isolation system that allows the building to move horizontally up to 26 inches in any direction without operational interruption or structural damage. The system consists of 31 natural rubber base isolators coupled with eight viscous fluid dampeners. The isolators were rigorously tested at a University of California San Diego facility.

IETMC is the first LEED Gold certified essential services facility. With the high energy demand of the building type, it saves the amount of energy consumed annually by a standard southern California commercial office building. Even the natural rubber of the base isolators contributes to the building's sustainability as a rapidly renewable resource that accounts for 5 percent of the overall material cost. Through the use of dimmable solar tubes, an internal control room can be lit predominantly without electric lights. Direct daylighting is used wherever possible.

With standard utilities as well as the cabling to support a 10,000sf data center, AECOM's engineers had to incorporate flexibility to allow for the potential seismic movement. A careful configuration of flexible pipe joints and looped flexible cabling conduits enable the building systems to absorb the seismic shifting.

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