The Transit Maintenance Facility (TMF) is the first state-of-the-art “green” building for the City of Santa Clarita and was designed and constructed using a variety of high-quality, environmentally sensitive strategies.. Through an unconventional use of materials, the Transit Maintenance Facility has become one of the first LEED-certified straw-bale buildings in the world.
Completed in May 2006, the Transit Maintenance Facility provides a cost-effective, healthy, resource-efficient facility, which demonstrates the City’s commitment to greener development and responsible public policy.
In 2002, the City of Santa Clarita Transit committed to improving air quality in the community by converting its bus fleet from diesel running vehicles to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses, which burn cleaner and produces less green house gases. The CNG conversion required the City’s Transit division to create a modern maintenance headquarter that promoted resource-efficient systems and strategies to house, maintain and clean its fleet of over 90 vehicles.
TMF is 40% more energy-efficient than required by California’s Energy Code thanks to sustainable building methods, which help reduce operating costs and conserve natural resources.
Design features that were incorporated in the Transit Maintenance Facility include: straw bale insulated exterior walls, under-floor heating and cooling systems, recycled building materials, water efficient landscaping, day lighting features, facility shading devices, high-efficiency lighting fixtures with motion sensors and daylight dimming controls, and compressed natural gas fuel technology.
The energy-efficient building also includes a 22,000 sq. ft. administration building, 25,000 sq. ft bus maintenance building, automated bus wash, diesel and compressed natural gas (CNG) stations, and an on-street CNG fueling station for use by the general public. The facility is also designed to accommodate more than 150 buses and nearly 160 staff with room for future expansion.
Consistent with its effort to operate in an environmentally conscious manner, the City of Santa Clarita received its first “Gold” rating from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Green Building Rating System in 2006. LEED is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.
Since its opening, the Transit Maintenance Facility has received other numerous awards including: “Architectural Award of Excellence” for outstanding architecture in civic sustainability by the Los Angeles Business Council (LABC) in 2008, “Excellence in Transportation” award by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) in 2007, and a “Gold” rating from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System in 2006.
The City of Santa Clarita is proud to lead by example, utilizing the unique Transit Maintenance Facility to introduce the public to green building methods. The innovative techniques utilized through this facility, position TMF as a leader in new, smart sustainable building methods.
In 2011, with the help of a $4.6 million award through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Transit Investments in Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) program, the City installed a 65,000 square foot photovoltaic canopy system at the TMF. More than 3,200 photovoltaic panels now cover the facility’s four bus ports. The canopies are expected to generate enough electric power to offset up to 97% of the facility’s electric use – equivalent to half of Santa Clarita Transit’s cumulative energy use.
The Transit Maintenance Facility was funded in large portion by the Federal Transit Administration as well as locally funded by the state and city. Funding was also secured through the assistance of the Transportation Alliance and Congressman Howard “Buck McKeon.