The PBS Satellite Operations Center, in Alexandria Virginia, gathers all PBS content nationwide, organizes, edits and distributes it to local PBS TV stations and PBS’ website. When PBS decided their dated cinderblock building was not meeting their needs, the options were to renovate, build new or move. The building was too small, could not be adequately thermally controlled and the systems were out of date for present and future technology. One of the largest challenges in this mission critical facility was that it had to remain up and running 24/7 during construction.
The solution was to enclose the existing building and an addition with a sophisticated rain screen system. Not only did this save the budget and a building from the landfill, but the rain screen panels and aluminum support system were designed to fulfill a completely separate need: to house the abundant cabling and technology support system through an insulated gap between the existing building exterior and the new exterior walls. The cabling pathways run through the walls and out to numerous satellites that transmit content. The gap will allow the building to adapt to rapidly changing technology due to the potential to run new cabling pathways with zero construction. In fact, these pathways can be accessed by removing panels from the exterior rather than ripping up interior drywall. This innovative approach not only will save construction waste, time and money in the future, but allows staff to continue a 24/7 operation even when technology changes are needed.
94% (or 123.3 tons) of the hauled off material was recycled.
Size: 8,000 SF
Links & Awards
Metal Construction News, "Office & Mixed Use: PBS Satellite Operations Center," 2014
TV Technology Magazine, "PBS Revamps Satellite Transmission Facility," 2014
Washington Building Congress Award, "Composite Wall Panels," 2014
Washington Building Congress Award, "Electrical System," 2014