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Louise M. Slaughter Rochester Train Station Awarded Engineering Excellence Honors at State and National Levels

LaBella is proud to share that the Louise M. Slaughter Rochester Train Station project has received the Diamond award from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC)! The project was recognized by the New York ACEC chapter and the National ACEC organization.

LaBella’s Patrick Waterman attended the 52nd New York Annual Engineering Excellence Awards Gala in New York City on April 13, 2019 and accepted the Diamond Award for the Rochester Train Station Design Build. This event is co-sponsored by the ACEC New York Scholarship Fund, and in conjunction with the Gala, the scholarship program will award more than $50,000 to NYS engineering students.

Following the NY awards ceremony, the project was recognized at the National ACEC Engineering Excellence Awards Gala in Washington, D.C. where LaBella’s Brian Miller and Meredith Smith attended and accepted the recognition (pictured with Wahid Albert from the NYS Department of Transportation).

The Engineering Excellence Awards are presented to projects that encompass both the public and private sector in the following categories: studies, research, and consulting services; building/technology systems; structural systems; surveying and mapping technology; environmental; waste and stormwater; water resources; transportation; energy; industrial and manufacturing processes and facilities; and special projects.

LaBella was the lead design firm and Engineer of Record for the new Louise M. Slaughter Rochester Train Station. The Pike Company acted as the prime entity and the “builder” in a Design-Build delivery model. LaBella provided architectural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, structural, site/civil, environmental, and survey services. In addition, the following subconsultants contributed to the project design and construction administration as follows:

  • Foundation Design, PC provided geotechnical engineering and site monitoring services.
  • Moffat & Nichol provided railroad consulting expertise.
  • JKLA assisted with the landscape architecture.
  • Watts Engineering provided commissioning services.
  • Popli Design Group provided construction inspection and record keeping services.
  • Atlantic Testing Laboratories provided on-site testing and special inspection services.

The new facility replaced the existing Amtrak Station that had served rail passengers for many years. This phased project was budgeted at $29.8 million and is used by over 140,000 people every year. The National Passenger Railroad Corp., doing business as Amtrak, continues to own and operate the station, which was built on the site of the existing station at 320 Central Avenue in the City of Rochester. The project utilized “bridging” documents to be advanced by the Design-Build team. These documents highlighted a station design that recreated the architectural methodologies utilized by Architect Claude Bragdon in the original Rochester Station. This building construction was completed on the same site in 1914.

The project design team created a fully ADA-compliant station that is safe for the traveling public. Innovative and cost-effective solutions were provided to improve vehicular, passenger, and baggage circulation within the station, while incorporating a site design that provided easy access to and from Rochester and the surrounding area.

The ticketing and waiting area provide increased space for circulation in a “core” area of natural light. Increased retail opportunities were incorporated to provide a more user friendly and inviting environment. A signage and wayfaring plan was established and incorporated into the project, as well as internal security measures, to assist patrons in their experience.

The design incorporates a below grade concourse accessible to passengers either by escalator, elevator, or a stair at either end. This same concourse is utilized by baggage carts and equipment for luggage transfer, etc. In addition, ADA-compliant ramps were constructed at both the platform and station to provide redundancy in the event the elevator/escalator becomes out of service.

A new high-level platform was designed within tight tolerance for easy access to trains. This platform was constructed of cast-in-place concrete with a structural steel canopy. A below grade tunnel provides access from the concourse to the high-level platform.

The Design-Build “bridging” documents incorporated design standards and criteria that in many cases exceeded code minimum, especially pertaining to sustainability and green design. LaBella completed design using the International Green Construction Code as a guideline in addition to complying with energy enhancements prescribed as part of Build Smart NY’s Executive Order 88.

The station meters all energy sources for benchmarking, including domestic water. Electric metering is provided at the building service, with submeters provided for lighting, plug-loads, and mechanical equipment power consumption. All metering is tied into the building energy management system for monitoring. Additionally, an energy display is furnished in the building to provide the public with real-time consumption, providing energy demand data for electric and gas, daily average and peak demand, and total annual energy consumption.

The station design incorporates photovoltaic panels along walkway/platform roofs, on the main building roof, and on area lighting poles to offset building energy costs. In addition, the project includes a rain water harvesting system. Rainwater is collected from the roof drainage systems and stored in an unde­­­rground tank. The rainwater is filtered, with ultraviolet lights utilized for bacteria control. Water is pumped for use in flushing water closets and urinals. The water can also be utilized for irrigation purposes through a hose bib on the exterior of the building. Signage indicates the water is non-potable.

For the New York State recognition, over 60 member firms submit projects that are judged on a rigorous set of criteria, which includes complexity, innovation, and value to society. These projects are judged by a panel of industry experts, which includes military and government officials, ACEC National and International leadership, educators from college and university engineering departments, and leadership from other organizations dedicated to the built environment. Awards are distributed based on the average scores received by these judges and are assigned one of four levels (in ascending order): Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond.