A Transportation Landscape

The Pupil Transportation and Maintenance Facility co-locates the Administrative, Training, Maintenance, and Dispatch functions for VA Beach City Public Schools to one central campus. Early design analysis, interviews, and equipment inventories were used to better create efficiencies in site planning and interior space use. Department workshops and charrettes were held with stakeholders to develop the program and find better ways of working.

A LEED platinum project, the project utilized sustainable practices for site use and stormwater management, building orientation for solar and wind, passive and active building systems, and the responsible development of agricultural farmland. The project uses solar hot water to heat the maintenance shop floors, harvests rainwater for bus washing, captures wind energy with four turbines, and enjoys a large living roof meadow.

Area: 89,700 SF (4 buildings)

Design + Construction: 19 Months

Cost: $16,200,000

Owner: VA Beach City Public Schools

Agricultural roots

We took ideas straight from the agriculture nearby. Metal roofs and siding on a durable base, a direct relationship between building materials and the patterns in the landscape. Do what agriculture does: Use the rainwater you can catch, use the sun for heat and energy, and reconnect building with the land.

Most transportation facilities can end up as environmental liabilities, we started the early design by saying "There's a better way to design this, especially in this place." The end result is a transportation facility that's part of its adjacent environment, even sometimes deferring to it. Work spaces are full of natural daylight and fresh air, views to the nearby landscape, and the buildings act as teaching tools by openly demonstrating their systems, design, and use.


Building signs treat the systems and design of the facility as teaching tools. The simple diagrams that informed the design are repeated and demonstrate the basic ideas behind the buildings and their operation.