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Environmentally-Friendly Parking Garage Opens Doors for New Students in South Florida

$18-million structure highlights the commitment to green practices

FORT LAUDERDALE(October 8, 2009) – Broward College and Florida Atlantic University celebrate the start of the 2009 fall academic semester with the opening of a much needed new five-level parking garage and grand archway entrance located at the A. Hugh Adams Central Campus in the Town of Davie, Florida. The recently completed structure, designed by Cartaya and Associates Architects PA, and built by Balfour Beatty Construction, provides parking for an additional 1,000 cars in 307,054 square feet of construction. The facility features a number of environmentally conscious elements which highlight the commitment of both institutions to sustainable design. Most importantly, the completion of this project has a greater impact in allowing more students access to quality education.

The 150-acre Adams Central Campus is shared by Broward College and Florida Atlantic University, and is located just 11 miles west of the beautiful beaches of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Based on available land constraints and continuous increases in student enrollment, a multi-level parking structure is the appropriate solution to accommodate additional vehicles on campus.

Public educational institutions also are seeing reductions in their funding, which demands creative efforts to adjust to today’s difficult economic times. Both institutions are implementing “green” practices in an effort to reduce bottom-line operating costs. For instance, between 1998 and 2007, Broward College documented savings of over $7.5 million through energy conservation, proving that money can be saved while helping the environment.

This new parking garage incorporates the use of LED luminaries in lieu of traditional incandescent and tungsten-based fixtures. These energy-efficient devices provide monthly savings in illumination system costs of $3,966.56 ($47,994.73 yearly), reduce the facility’s carbon footprint by 403,420 pounds per year, reduce the energy needed to operate the illumination system by 301,060 KWH per year, and have a return on investment of just six years.

The building’s structure, engineered by AECOM Design, consists of a precast concrete system that is friendlier to the environment by benefiting from faster construction times, use of local materials, energy efficiency, and cost effectiveness. The use of this type of building system also allowed the project to be completed in time for the beginning of the fall 2009 semester. In particular, the structural elements of the garage include precast double tees spanning approximately 62 feet between precast spandrel beams in the perimeter of the building, and precast ladder walls in the interior of the building that extend to the top of the foundation.

In addition to the construction of the building, improvements were made to the vehicular circulation as well as the construction of an archway that provides an architectural element to identify the entrance of the campus. R.J. Behar and Company provided civil engineering services including improvements to S.W. 30th Street, which is the main access road to the west end of the campus.

This project, however, has significance far beyond the simple function of housing more vehicles. As Mario Cartaya, the Architect of the project explains:

“When my Office was commissioned to design this parking garage, I did not see it as an elevated concrete and steel storage structure for 1,000 cars. I imagined it as something far more beautiful, far more relevant. I dreamed it and then designed it as a gateway building allowing 1,000 more potential students including those seeking that second chance to pursue and realize their dreams. This gateway is for accessibility to education. This gateway is for those that dare to dream. This gateway is for a better future. This gateway is for knowledge. This gateway is for the Great American Promise. This gateway is for you.”

The project was successfully completed in August 2009, ahead of schedule, and under budget.

About Cartaya and Associates Architects PA:

Cartaya and Associates Architects PA is an Architectural Firm located in Broward County, Florida, in business since 1979. During this time, they devoted themselves to the practice of high-quality Architecture. Their work expresses aesthetic sensitivity and harmony with the environment. Because of this dedication to high standards and attention to detail, they have been recognized with numerous Awards and Proclamations.

About Broward College:

Broward College is a large urban higher education institution serving a diverse population of more than 60,000 students annually. For close to 50 years the mission of the college is to achieve student success by developing informed and creative students capable of contributing to a knowledge- and service-based society.  We are accredited to offer selected bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, online associate degrees and technical certificates.  The institution and its board are committed to fostering a learning-centered community that celebrates diversity and inclusion by empowering and engaging students, faculty and staff.  In the past five decades, the college has conferred more than 65,000 associate degrees.

About Florida Atlantic University:

Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses strategically located along 150 miles of Florida's southeastern coastline. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts ten colleges:  College of Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the College of Business, the College of  Education, the College of  Engineering & Computer Science, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Graduate College,  the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science.  

About Balfour Beatty Construction:

Balfour Beatty Construction has been a leader in the U.S. commercial construction industry for 76 years, providing general contracting, at-risk construction management, design-build, preconstruction, public/private and turn-key services for clients nationwide. The company employs 1,600 professionals and is part of London-based Balfour Beatty plc, a leading international engineering, construction, and investment business exceeding $16 billion in annual revenues.

About AECOM Design:

The Miami office of AECOM Design was established in Miami in 1926 and has grown to become one of the largest full service planning and design firms in the Southeastern United States. In more than 80 years of continuous professional practice in Florida, the Miami office of AECOM has enjoyed steady growth in terms of size, experience, and scope of services. AECOM Design offers diversified experience in a variety of building types and has worked extensively in the public sector. Our firm has developed a national practice in the planning and design of a wide variety of building types including: governmental, residential, educational, criminal justice, hospitality, and commercial.

About R.J. Behar and Company:

R. J. Behar & Company, Inc. (RJ Behar) was established in 1999, to provide services in the disciplines of engineering, planning and construction management engineering inspection to public and private clients throughout Florida. Our mission is to understand our client’s needs, apply the necessary resources to accomplish these needs while building and maintaining long-term professional relationships with our clients.  We currently have 45 full time employees with 12 of them being registered professional engineers.


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