Police, Fire, Emergency Operations to be United in “Green” Public Safety Complex

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor The construction of the new Salt Lake City public safety complex has officially started at 300 East and 500 South. The architecture team of GSBS Architects and Civitas, an Urban Design firm, have come up with [...]

The construction of the new Salt Lake City public safety complex has officially started at 300 East and 500 South. The architecture team of GSBS Architects and Civitas, an Urban Design firm, have come up with a futuristic and energy-efficient design that according to Mayor Ralph Becker, quoted in The Salt Lake Tribune, “will establish a new standard for public buildings in the state.”

According to the city government’s official Web site, the 170,000-gross-square-foot building will be four stories high and will include a 390-vehicle-capacity parking garage. Overall development is estimated at $125 million.

City officials expect the building to achieve at least a Silver rating under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. It has been designed as a Net Zero Energy Emissions property, and will be endowed with 30,000 square feet of solar panels. Furthermore, a tree-filled plaza with free Wi-Fi, solar-powered charging stations for mobile devices and an overhead photovoltaic canopy that will provide filtered sun and shade on the public plaza are meant to offer an oasis for visitors, workers and nearby residents.

According to The Salt Lake Tribune, the first floor will include a shared police and fire department museum, a number of community rooms and a records room with general public access. With the police, fire and emergency operations staff united in one building, interdepartmental synergy seems to be a key element of the project. The glass-faced aspect of the building was chosen, similar to the main library, to reference the property’s transparency, according to project manager David Hart.

The project broke ground on June 1st and is scheduled to host its ribbon-cutting ceremony in May 2013.