River Valley Transit (RVT) is the public transportation system provider for the City of Williamsport. In 2007, it became evident that the current facilities were in need of expansion and improvement. Larson Design Group (LDG) was selected to work with the City to assess the needs and coordinate the overall design for the project.
During the design portion of the project, the City began to expand its scope to include a complete revitalization of the grounds and facility, including expanded bus repair/service facilities, office renovations, and an indoor bus storage area. The new facilities were to include “sustainable” technologies including a geothermal heating and cooling system, daylighting (skylights, sun tunnels and windows), and an overall Building Management System (BMS) to monitor the entire building.
The expansion challenged the City and the design team to accommodate the program on the limited site. Careful placement of new buildings and additions was required to allow a smooth flow of both the buses and public vehicles accessing the site. Even during construction, additional structures were added which required relocating underground utilities to accommodate them.
The desire for energy efficiency was a paramount concern from the beginning. The main office and support areas are served by a variety of geothermal units that provide heating and cooling, while the bus repair/service areas of the building use an in-floor heating and cooling system. The indoor bus storage/parking area is conditioned using high efficiency gas-fired unit heaters for efficiency because cooling is not required.
The heart of the system is a sophisticated BMS that links all of the systems in the building. The BMS not only allows the Owner to control all of the systems in the building (including HVAC, access control, and security), it provides in-depth monitoring and trending to better evaluate energy use and allow for any necessary changes. This system has already helped to troubleshoot some areas within the building and determine that some newly installed HVAC systems were not functioning properly.
During the course of this four-year project, LDG has been involved in nearly all aspects of the design and construction. Although LDG was originally selected to provide site engineering, structural engineering and mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering, our services were expanded to provide overall project management and traffic engineering. During our construction administration, LDG assisted with completing various grant applications. Our large, in-house multi-discipline capabilities allowed us to expand our services to meet the City’s changing program.
The RVT project grew nearly tenfold during our involvement. Our professional staff and comprehensive services have allowed us to provide uninterrupted services. LDG is currently working with RVT to prepare a feasibility study and grant assistance for the addition of a new Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling facility proposed for the site.