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Sunrise Yard Maintenance Facility

The most impressive performance of Sunrise Yard is in energy conservation, where it is designed to save roughly 65% of the energy of an equivalent building designed to ASHRAE 90.1-2001 standard.


Sunrise Yard, a maintenance facility for the NYC Department of Transportation (NYCDOT), is the home base for the engineers, carpenters, electricians and plumbers who maintain and support the buildings occupied by the NYCDOT. This project was part of the New York City Department of Design and Construction’s Sustainable Design Pilot Program.

Daylight is the primary light source throughout, carefully controlled, resulting in almost 90% savings over standard 90.1. The building achieves this economy through relatively low-tech strategies, many of which were used in industrial buildings of past centuries – proper orientation, north-facing skylights, and natural ventilation – combined with modern technologies such as high-performance glazing, lighting control systems, radiant floor heating, and efficient fans, pumps, and boiler. A three-part building organization, based on function, allowed the HVAC systems, lighting needs and materials to be separately defined, and each area tailored to its usage patterns for maximum efficiency. An originally planned parking garage was eliminated by designing the interior to accommodate those DOT vehicles that must be parked indoors at night.

Sustainable landscape practices were a priority, especially because the building is located in a low-rise residential community. Green fences, native plantings, street trees, increased site permeability, residential setbacks and shielded vehicular access all help make this industrial building a good neighbor. The residential context is further recognized through the control of scale, and use of local materials and imagery. Materials were chosen for recycled content and low-emittance, as well as for durability and easy maintenance. A demolition audit was performed, which identified specific items for reuse and salvage.