Anaheim’s ARTIC high speed rail station packs a serious technical punch

Newsletter Technology West

Fluid Dynamics analysis to test radiant heating and cooling inside ARTIC (HOK/ Buro Happold)

HOK’s ARTIC, Anaheim’s high speed rail train station which AN featured today, is as much a story about technology and engineering as it is about high design. Slated to achieve a LEED Platinum rating, ARTIC is the product of an integrated, multidisciplinary BIM design process where key decisions about technology and engineering were brought into the design process from the beginning to achieve a high-tech, high-performance, and high-efficiency building.


ARTIC’s ETFE Pillows, from the outside (HOK, Buro Happold)

The building’s curved diagrid geometry, rationalized using CATIA, is like a contemporary reboot of the glass and steel structures that defined iconic terminals like Philadelphia’s Broad Street Station and New York City’s original Penn Station. The parabolic shell design was also utilized for its structural efficiency and for its environmental properties.

For efficiency, the design team decided to go with ultra-lightweight ETFE pillows (1/100th the weight of glass). This allowed for significant reductions in foundation size and structural member dimensions. ARTIC is currently the largest ETFE-clad building in North America, with over 200,000 square feet of the high-tech material covering most of the building’s long-span shell. The ETFE system also helps to regulate heat gain and maximize daylighting while maintaining an environment that utilizes a mixed mode natural ventilation system.

Measuring wind loads on ARTIC's skin (HOK, Buro Happold)

Measuring wind loads on ARTIC’s skin (HOK, Buro Happold)

The building’s shape and translucent ETFE envelope work in concert with a radiant heating and cooling slab system in the public areas (optimized HVAC is used in office and retail spaces) to produce a microclimate through convection currents. This makes it possible for the building to be naturally ventilated most of the time. Heat rises and escapes through operable louvers at the top portions of the north and south curtain walls.

Digital rendering of ARTIC's interior (HOK, Buro Happold)

Digital rendering of ARTIC’s interior (Thornton Tomasetti)

ARTIC Exterior (HOK, Buro Happold)

ARTIC Exterior (HOK, Buro Happold)

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