MET Transit

Downtown Transfer Station-Billings, MT

As the city’s public transit authority, MET is inherently energy conscious. Thus, the new facility reinforces their commitment to energy conservation and environmental sustainability. Additionally, the design capitalized on the opportunity to create a defining image for the City of Billings’ Transit System.

The solution is a contemporary design statement that is reflective of its place, Billings, Montana. It is a marriage of high tech and nature. Slick metal surfaces, glass, photovoltaic panels and structure contrast native sandstone and indigenous and adaptive landscape materials. It is an energetic composition of textures and forms. The resulting design aims to increase ridership by targeting environmentally conscious urban professionals, combining an edgy style with an environmental message.

The overall site development includes stops for 15 buses, individual waiting shelters at each bus stop, a large, covered, wind-sheltered waiting area, and a 2,100 square foot drivers building containing a drivers’ lounge, 2 offices, restrooms and lockers for the drivers, and a storage room for site maintenance equipment.

One of the dynamic elements of the overall design is the butterfly roof structure of the pedestrian canopy. The canopy slices through the site, linking one side to the other, with the south-facing side of the roof supporting an array of 50 photovoltaic panels. The 14 foot by 140 foot pedestrian canopy structure is supported by three monolithic concrete columns that were cast-in-place.

Another dramatic feature of the design is the two opposing roof structures of the waiting area canopy and the drivers building, which are gently sloping yet dramatically cantilevered roof forms. Both structures also contain “green” roof assemblies, roofs which hold planting materials and contribute to the insulative properties of the roof assembly to lower energy consumption, as well as reducing the urban “heat island” effect that most traditional roofs have on the urban environment.

The MET Transfer Center was designed in accordance with the nationally recognized LEED Green Building rating system and achieved LEED Platinum certification. Some of the energy conserving measures that were incorporated into the design include the grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) electric system, a ground source heat pump system, vegetated roofs, recycled aggregate and fly ash in the concrete, low flow plumbing fixtures, drip irrigation system, and LED site lighting.

A high level of craftsmanship can be found throughout the Project: decorative colored concrete paving (Knife River); hand painted shotcrete boulders (Shotcrete Plus Montana); cast-in-place concrete columns that support the pedestrian canopy (Morgan Contractors LLC); sculpted roof forms of the Waiting Area canopy and the drivers building.