Buffalo & Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority

Wendel provided a design for the renovation of and addition to the existing commercial inspection building at the U.S. plaza and commissioning services for the Buffalo and Fort Erie Peace Bridge Authority located in Buffalo, New York. The Authority identified a need for increased space as well as the importance of upgrading their existing facility to reflect its particular stature as a major port border crossing. The project consisted of renovations to the existing 43,500 sq ft Inspection Truck Bays, Warehouse and Office Building and an 21,000 sq ft addition.

Facing the Niagara River and Peace Bridge, the building serves as a front door to the country. Using channel glass alongside terra cotta and Trespa rainscreens, the exterior design balances translucency and openness with strength and security. The west façade, facing Canada, presents a welcoming face framed by solid geometry. Taking advantage of this location, a roof terrace is located at the third floor that provides scenic views of the city of Buffalo, Lake Erie and the Niagara River, and the shore of Fort Erie, Canada.

Improvements to the mechanical systems include replacing existing air handling units with updated ventilation requirements and energy recovery. Pump replacement will include replacement of existing circulator pumps with high efficiency, variable speed pumps.

The electrical scope of work included replacing the incoming 5KV feeder to the site and replacing all of the old outdated switchboard, transformers, panelboards.

New 5KV distribution switchgear was designed to feed all the buildings in the plaza. A new 5KV automatic transfer system was installed and connected to the existing site generator to provide emergency power for the entire site.

Since this is a major bridge crossing from Canada into the United States power could not be interrupted while replacing outdated switchgear. A temporary power plan was developed by Wendel to ensure that power was maintained to the Customs and Border Protection inspection areas at all times. The plan was implemented by the contractor and was completely successful.

The project team recognizes the importance of engaging and protecting future generations by implementing sustainable design strategies. In attaining LEED Silver certification, the project includes environmentally responsible systems and natural daylighting to reduce energy consumption. Proximity to public transit and inclusion of locally-produced products further enhance the aim of the project to be both environmentally and socially responsible.