Location: Palo Alto, CA
Size: 135,000 sf
Architect: RossDrulisCusebery Architects
About the project: The Public Safety Building (PSB) is a new three-story police station, fire administration, and emergency communications and operations facility. The PSB will be located on an existing City-owned parking lot. The new PSB includes two full-block subterranean floors of secure police and staff parking and makes accommodation for a site utility yard, a public plaza, a 135ft communications tower and exterior site buildings.
The primary goal of this project is to create a state-of-the-art facility that brings the public safety departments together in a structure which can withstand seismic events, while serving the public’s needs as a civic focal point.
The new PSB project consists of a ballistically rated exterior, coupled with technology-heavy communications and mechanical systems with sufficient back-up power to allow the building to function in the event of an emergency. This project is a complicated undertaking requiring logistically challenging construction methods. Issues of fire-life safety, particularly for the holding cell areas which are an “I” occupancy class and the interior skylight areas, have all been overcome without compromising 24/7 operational demands or employee comfort which required a high degree of coordination and stakeholder engagement through each phase of the project.
Nova Partners’ Role: Nova’s role on the project has been critical from the outset. Nova led the effort to evaluate and select the Design Team, and then has been instrumental in representing the City’s interests during the Design phase. Nova has taken a leading role in the extensive user- engagement which has been necessary to ensure the operational requirements are provided for, and the complex radio and communication systems have been engineered to meet the rigorous demands of a modern day Public Safety entity.