Peace Arch Port of Entry

When the U.S. Border Patrol’s Land Port of Entry Station between the U.S. and Canada, was planning lighting for the 2011 opening of its enlarged facility, energy-savings was a key element for the initial design toward a goal of achieving LEED Gold.  Adjacent the historic Peace Arch Monument erected in 1921 directly on the border at Blaine, WA, Port of Entry administrators wished to universally employ energy-saving lighting throughout the 34,000 square meter port building, above 10 lanes of inbound primary inspection, and 40 spaces of inbound secondary inspection.  Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Architects and CANDELA Lighting Design, both of Seattle, was the design team retained by the U.S. General Services Administration on behalf of the Border Patrol.

It was discovered by CANDELA that commonly available T5 linear fluorescents today now exceeded even fairly recent General Services Administration 2006 guidelines, routinely providing greater luminance, uniformity, glare control and long life.  According to Randy Fisher, associate and senior designer at CANDELA’s Seattle office, new lighting further had to meet more recent security issues.  Yet it was CANDELA’s strong feeling that all new lighting also needed to provide levels of lumen gradiance for people who work in or visit the border station, something the GSA's outdated documentation discouraged through excessive footcandle levels, resulting in unnecessarily higher energy-use.

Instead of blindly adhering to the old standards, CANDELA stuck their neck out and informed the GSA that revising their requirements could allow the best of both worlds: adequate, glare-free illuminance and greater energy-savings. As a result, lighting parameters now employed throughout the new Peace Arch border-crossing station were put into an entirely new set of lighting guidelines for GSA . . . and accepted for all future U.S. Land Port of Entry renovations and new construction. (Below is a link to an article in LD+A by CANDLELA's Mary Claire Frazier, explaining the Peace Arch Port of Entry design strategy, why and how CANDELA got the GSA to change their standards based on this project.)

While LED fixtures were examined as a possibility, most of the lighting ultimately selected were linear T5 fluorescent fixtures.  Reasons hinged on low energy draw and low carbon emissions; very long operating life often rivaling that of LEDs; pure white-light quality; low initial purchase cost; low maintenance factors; proven technology; low eventual replacement costs; ease of installation and maintenance, including contractor familiarity.

Luminaires selected for this LEED Gold project were D3 | accolade3 surface-mounted linear T5's installed in the overhead canopy above the auto inspection lanes. Recessed D5 | accolade5 linear rows were integrated into the ceiling inside the main building, at walk-up stations employing a·parabola™ louvers intended for computer-intensive environments. D4 | accolade4 uplights illuminate the entire façade of the building via a long row mounted to upper window mullions illuminating the high interior ceilings and the exterior canopy, creating a “glowing tower” effect at night. D2 | accolade2 direct/indirect 16ft long suspended fixtures illuminate conference rooms, with wall-mount versions in hallways.

Abbreviated Article: Bill Schoenfisch, PRImages

The peace Arch Port of Entry is designated as a GSA Design Excellence project subject to the Federal government's highest standards of design and functional performance and was certified LEED Gold.
a·light is also a major lighting manufacturer on the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry in Southern Calfornia.

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Candela pdf article

Architect: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
Lighting Designer: Candela
Photographer: Craig Spring Architectural Photography
Awards / Certifications: LEED Gold; AIA Northwest Design Award; GSA Design Award


  • Location
    Blaine, WA
  • Category
    Exterior Lighting

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