Sustainable Lighting Design for the Vacaville Transportation Center

Tetra Tech’s High Performance Building Group provided lighting design for the Vacaville Transportation Center in Northern California facility and achieved Net Zero Energy.


  • Size: 5,200 square feet
  • Construction Cost: $3.8 million
  • Client/Owner: City of Vacaville, CA
  • Architect: Indigo Hammond + Playle Architects
  • Completion Date: 2011

Set between the cities of Vacaville and Fairfield, the transit station is designed to be self-sustaining and provide commuters with transportation alternatives to relieve the growing congestion on the highway, improve the quality of life, and lessen the environmental burden of the daily commute.

The lighting design featured roof-mounted photovoltaic panels that provide power to the entire facility and are arranged to provide shade to commuters in the summer, to provide shelter in the winter, and to keep the facility well-lit and safe throughout the year. Tetra Tech designed an LED lighting system for the passenger loading platforms and 245-space parking lot. The lighting system features controls allowing the fixtures to run at 50 percent during dawn and dusk and motion sensors that bring the fixtures to 100 percent if movement is detected—limiting light pollution. The glass windscreens that divide the passenger islands make use of sanded edges that diffuse light, which contributes to a relaxing ambiance while decreasing energy usage. Additional features include six electric vehicle charging stations, with space for 40 or more to be added in the future.

As the area grows, Solano County is focused on creating a more transit-oriented community with access to park-and-ride facilities and public transportation. Tetra Tech assisted in the design for the Vacaville Transportation Center, which is a catalyst for the community in providing a foundation for an expanding, connected, and sustainable infrastructure.

Images courtesy of Indigo Architects