The Bradford County (Pa.) Public Safety Building is not only used for 911 and emergency management services and response activation, but it is also flexible and unique to provide community areas for training, meetings, conferences, and events. A serious flood struck the area in 2011. That experience and war stories defined the new Public Safety Center and ultimately gave the architect and design team the vision, program, and requirements to move the County’s center of communication operations into the significant and important state-of-the-art safety center that is constructed today.
Read more about this project in the Winter 2024 issue of Ascent.
Precast concrete met all of the project’s goals, including, resiliency, impact resistance, traditional material for a secure building envelope, and aesthetically pleasing facades with modern panels and control joints.
As the design developed and after a trip to the precast concrete plant, precast
sandwich panels were selected for the main wall system early in the design process to create a strong, stable, and secure building. The selection of precast concrete was unique in this region. These panels would first and foremost meet the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) 1221 building hardening requirements for communication centers, provide thermal and installation efficiencies, and would also provide the aesthetic character for such an architectural landmark that the architect described.
The precast concrete panels were designed to have traditional cornice and stone details on the west end and transition across the front façade into modern unique aesthetics. Contrasting bands, diagonal score lines, and patterns of sandblasted and heavy aggregate precast concrete finishes create interest, hierarchy, and flow across the façades. Using the precast concrete in coordination with curtain wall, canopies, lighting, and metal panels introduced modern design aspects and layers of architectural patterns and materials throughout the facades that serve as visual and shading components.
“The design team ensured us that our new facility could service the public during the most dire circumstances while also creating flexible spaces for board meetings, community events, training opportunities, and presentations that provide a central location that enhances the community’s connections and opportunities,” said the director of emergency management services.