Otay Mesa Land Port of Entry Modernization & Expansion
Planning Completion Year
Otay Mesa, California
US General Services Administration
2003. AIA Las Vegas Unbuilt Honor Award
The principle function of the Otay Mesa Land Port of Entry is to facilitate the movement of people and goods between the US and Mexico. The Otay Mesa Land Port of Entry Modernization presents a grand façade that signifies a visual threshold for entry into the US. Serving as a link between both nations, the port of entry must provide two public faces: one for international activity between the US and Mexico and one for domestic port visitors. This has generated the need for pedestrian buildings that serve all international non-commercial interactions and a commercial annex building that will serve all commercial interactions.
During the early phases of design, several topics for exploration and innovation were isolated. Working with border control, the design team proposed five lighting improvements on the port standards that improve lighting quality while saving approximately $60,000 per year.
The region’s dry temperate climate requires water conservation. Landscaping that uses regional plants and living machine technology that reclaims all irrigation water on site help meet conservation goals.
The staff occupying the border station enjoy several environmental innovations. At the truck inspection booths, a remote fresh air intake provides a positive pressure clean air zone. Overhead chilled beams and under floor radiant heating throughout the buildings achieve radiant heating and cooling. While effectively reducing on-site energy demands and providing a safer work environment, these environmental innovations allowed the design team to register the building LEED Gold.