The exterior of the MTA Grand Avenue Bus Depot is blue and white. A bus is parked in front of the facility.

NYCT Grand Avenue Bus Depot and Central Maintenance Facility Design

Multi-level bus storage and maintenance facility sets the standard for urban green design

Our Client’s Challenge

As one of the nation’s largest bus fleet operators, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) New York City Transit (NYCT) is setting the standard for urban bus facility design.

The Grand Avenue Bus Depot and Central Maintenance Facility is a multi-level, design-build structure with space for the fueling, maintaining, cleaning, and indoor storage of 200 buses for the Brooklyn-Queens division. This is the first new, state-of-art “green” bus facility for New York City.

To meet bus ridership demand during the first decade of the new century, NYCT added more bus service at a faster pace than any major U.S. transit agency. This expansion facilitated the need for an additional and modernized central maintenance facility.

With sustainability and state-of-the-art features in mind, the facility was designed and built in accordance with the 2004 New York State’s Executive Order 111 “Green and Clean State Buildings and Vehicles” guidelines. Energy conservation and efficiency strategies were integrated into the construction and design process.

This new 550,000-square-foot facility rises 78 feet above the street and combines two facilities in one structure – a bus depot and a central maintenance facility (CMF). Building up, rather than out, was the solution to the limited availability of large parcels of land in New York City.

Our Solution

NYCT awarded the $217 million design-build contract to Granite Construction Northeast, Inc., who retained Gannett Fleming to lead the design.

As the designer of record, Gannett Fleming was responsible for the following:

  • Design of the steel superstructure and pile/concrete substructure.
  • Civil and site drainage systems.
  • Geotechnical design.
  • Environmental remediation systems.
  • Industrial equipment.
  • Building management system.

Gannett Fleming developed a three-phased approach to commissioning the facility, preparing specifications, and coordinating bus maintenance and servicing equipment.

The complicated, two-story steel superstructure was designed with open trusses and castellated beams to allow for open bus circulation and movement, as well as to support all the large elevated industrial shop equipment.

This facility’s numerous sustainable design elements reduce energy costs by increasing energy efficiency, enhancing indoor environmental air quality, and conserving water.

The roof of the Grand Avenue facility has 34 ventilation and heat recovery units. This high-efficiency heat recovery application runs warm air exhausts past the cold winter air that the ventilation system brings in because of bus fumes and exhausts. Heat conductors warm the fresh air enough to save approximately 48% in heating energy costs. The lightweight exterior wall panel system with two-inch thick foam core insulation along with insulated precast panels provides for a thermally efficient outer envelope to enclose the building and reduce heating and cooling loads.

Another environmentally friendly, innovative feature of this facility is the zero-emission paint booths with underfloor air plenums. These state-of-the-art downdraft paint booths release zero volatile organic compounds (VOC) into the atmosphere. The paint booths were prefabricated to assist in meeting the project schedule.

However, they presented unique design challenges with their second-story location. The size of these booths caused severe space limitations in designing a route for adequate bus access and bus preparation areas. Using special software programs, the minimum required turning radius was attained for the bus fleet.

This project incorporates sustainable design strategies and systems to protect the environment, conserve energy, and ultimately create a high-performance building and future cost savings. NYCT will use this facility as a model for future bus depot development and to encourage more green design in New York City.

Key Features

  • First-floor bus depot provides indoor space to fuel, wash, maintain, and store 200 buses.
  • Second-floor CMF accommodates the general maintenance and repair of up to 29 buses at a time.
  • Second-floor bus wash provides exterior bus washing and undercarriage cleaning to support the CMF functions.

Sustainability Features & Results

  • Rainwater is collected for the bus washers and recycled to conserve water.
  • The new bus painting system employs the best available control technology and is designed to produce zero emissions, ensuring minimal impact on bus depot employees and the neighboring community.
  • Waste management features for day-to-day operations include the collection and recycling of waste oil, waste antifreeze, oil filters, and used bus component parts.


  • The bus depot provides bus transportation to meet the needs of local Brooklyn/Queens passengers and serves as an important transportation service to the local and adjacent neighborhoods.
  • Bus storage on first floor reduces congested streets, allows more parking spaces in the urban setting, and eliminates idling buses.
  • Innovative design and green investment reduced project expenses and savings for NYCT.

Awards & Recognition

  • Diamond Award, 2009, American Council of Engineering Companies, New York, Engineering Excellence Awards
  • Honor Award, 2009, American Council of Engineering Companies, Engineering Excellence Awards
  • Award of Merit, 2008, New York Construction Magazine, Best of 2008 Public Works Category


Metropolitan Transportation Authority New York City Transit


Maspeth, N.Y.


Design management

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