San Ysidro Land Port of Entry Receives Accolades for Critical Construction Phase
By Javier Fernandez
The San Ysidro Land Port of Entry at night.
With Phase 1 of the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry (LPOE) modernization and expansion project now complete, the project is already starting to garner a lot of positive attention, winning architecture awards, engineering recognitions and sustainability accolades. These include the American Council of Engineering Companies’ Award for Engineering Excellence and the American Institute of Architects’ Citation for Civic Design.
The San Ysidro LPOE, widely considered to be the busiest border crossing in the world, is undergoing a complete transformation and reconfiguration to reduce vehicle and pedestrian northbound crossing wait times, increase U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer’s safety and enhance their ability to complete their mission. As the primary crossing point between San Diego and Tijuana, the port plays a critical role as a major economic engine for the region.
This critical phase of construction included the construction of all new northbound vehicle primary inspection lanes and booths, secondary vehicle inspection area and main headhouse. Some of the more notable sustainability features of Phase 1B include the use of photovoltaic and solar water heating panels atop the headhouse, the Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) material used on the vehicle inspection canopied areas that gently filter natural light (eliminating the need for artificial electric daytime lighting), the use of xeriscaping and drought resistant plants, and low-flow water fixtures and onsite water treatment facility in the headhouse.
A recent Phase 1B sustainability report highlighted the following features and credits GSA’s efforts in water conservation and energy production at the port:
- The project has achieved an energy cost savings of 36.9%.
- Reduction of potable water use by 78.8% though the use of on-site captured rainwater, wastewater reuse, and condensate for the flush fixtures.
- The landscaping and irrigation systems have been designed to reduce potable water consumption for irrigation by 100% and the project has reduced the total water used for irrigation by 84.61%.
- The facility will treat 100% of the wastewater for on-site use.
- Storm water runoff from 90% of the average annual rainfall is captured and treated to remove sediment and debris.
Given the severe drought conditions in California, GSA is pleased that the port’s water conservation features have been so successfully implemented in what the agency designed to be the “port of the future”. While there are two more phases yet to be constructed, GSA is dedicated to ensure the highest standards of sustainability in design and construction are observed to build the newest and most sustainable port in our inventory.