MBTA Iron Horse Park Operations Control Center
Located on an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-designated Superfund site and former railyard, the new Iron Horse Park Operations Control Center will house dispatching operations for Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) north side commuter rails and Pan Am Railways freight trains. SGH led a multidisciplinary design team for the new two-story building with redundant MEP systems, an accessible and resilient site, and associated utilities. In addition to serving as the prime consultant, SGH provided structural engineering, civil engineering, and building enclosure consulting services for the project.
Our team evaluated the feasibility of reusing an existing 1913 powerhouse or constructing a new building in Iron Horse Park for the new facility. The MBTA opted for a new building. SGH oversaw a team for architectural; mechanical, electrical (power and low voltage), and plumbing engineering; landscape design; geotechnical engineering; and environmental consultants. We provided structural, civil, and building enclosure engineering services for the project.
As structural engineer, SGH designed the steel-framed structure with exposed braced frames and deep pile foundations, as well as a feature stair and suspended catwalks supporting custom light scoops that filter daylight from the full-height clerestory into open workspaces. Liquefiable soils, uncommon for a New England site, required careful consideration to ensure pile stability during a seismic event.
Our civil engineering services included assessing existing and designing new site utilities and drainage infrastructure, and preparing construction drawings for site layout, grading, accessibility, utilities, stormwater management, and erosion and sediment control. SGH coordinated environmental issues with the local Conservation Commission, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, and the EPA. We also assessed the site’s flood risks and developed a resilient site design, including locating the first level above the inland floodplain.
SGH consulted on the design for below-grade waterproofing, roofing, and a custom weathering steel rainscreen panel system. We worked closely with the contractor throughout construction to develop details to address field conditions.