Public Works Operations Center

Feasibility Study & Design of Norwood Department of Public Works Facility

Weston & Sampson is the prime consultant for a programming/feasibility study and design of an upgraded 56,000 sf consolidated Department of Public Works (DPW) facility designed to house 45 employees assigned to various operating divisions in addition to a range of employee facilities and trade shops. The facility also included a vehicle fueling system, fleet maintenance facility responsible for all periodic and heavy work on 82 pieces of rolling stock, 40 of which are large (e.g., five-ton dump trucks, refuse packers), as well as a variety of small equipment and trailers.

The principal challenge of this project is that the DPW concluded, through a prior site investigation study, that it had no alternative but to remain on their current downtown parcel, which had outlived its useful life and was no longer large enough to support the DPW’s current responsibilities. In addition, the existing public works site was severely constrained by abutting uses and an active commuter railroad line.

Weston & Sampson’s facility planners and architects worked diligently with town leaders during an exhaustive review of alternative approaches to modifying the existing site/buildings or expanding the current site through the acquisition of an adjacent property. Based on the comprehensive planning completed, the DPW successfully petitioned at a Town Meeting to purchase a nearby parcel, which will be used for vehicle storage, thereby freeing up a considerable portion of the existing DPW site to allow for the expansion and modernization of the facility.

In addition, to save both money and energy, the facility was designed to incorporate several sustainable features, including:

  • Structural capacity to support future photovoltaic panel on roof
  • Day-lighting into shops and vehicle/equipment storage areas via translucent wall panels
  • Passive ventilation systems in vehicle/equipment storage areas
  • Rain water harvesting system to serve DPW operation’s needs (e.g., street sweepers)
  • High-efficiency boilers
  • Heat-recovery equipment in heating/ventilation systems
  • Super-insulated factory fabricated wall panels (four inches thick)
  • Waste oil burner in vehicle/equipment storage areas
  • Low-water usage plumbing fixtures
  • Occupancy sensors to control artificial lighting
  • Interior low-energy usage lighting (e.g., LED)
  • White roof membrane to reflect summer heat energy


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Posted in Facilities Architecture, Structural, Structures & Facilities and tagged , .