With security and sustainability becoming critical factors in nonresidential construction, design sometimes takes a back seat on projects.
Case in point: New York City's second Public Safety Answering Center, known as PSAC II, which opened last June in the Bronx. The 450,000-sf facility, sitting on 8.75 acres along the Hutchinson River and Pelham Parkways, supplements PSAC I, located at the MetroTech Center in Brooklyn. The newer facility is set up to handle more than 11 million emergency 911 calls annually to the city’s police and fire departments.
As tall as a 24-story building, the cube-like PSAC II is a fortress protected by 15-inch-thick concrete walls, with a relatively limited number of windows for an edifice this size: 77 4x10-foot openings and 54 4x20-foot openings. There’s only one window on the west side of the facility, facing a train station. The main building’s overall window-to-wall ratio is 4%.