Kern County Justice Facility

Located in Bakersfield, California, the Kern County Justice Facility is a single-story Tier II detention facility configured into medium and high-risk housing pods.

Spanning more than 200,000 square feet with a 900-ton central utility plant, Southland Engineering provided design services for the HVAC and plumbing systems. The housing buildings include approximately 800-beds, four housing control rooms, and recreational, administrative, and educational spaces. The support building consists of healthcare services and warehouse, visitation, and support services space.

Approach & Innovations

To decrease overall costs, Southland Engineering consolidated air handling units equipment. The creative solution significantly decreased maintenance and lifecycle costs. The design team was also able to lower capital costs by integrating the truss built system with the supply and exhaust diffusers. Having the ability to eliminate attachments for the diffusers created the opportunity for significant savings. Additionally, Southland Engineering increased the quantity of boilers. Doing so reduced the overall installed capacity, and eliminated the requirement for regular air pollution testing, ultimately providing additional savings for the owner.

To assist with test, adjust, and balancing, as well as the commissioning process, Southland Engineering utilized Vari-Green fans with electronically commutated motors. The motors provide varying air flow options, which eliminates the need for variable frequency drives and provides energy savings.


Client: Kern County Sheriff

Location: Bakersfield, California


Square Footage: 210,000