Project:ESPN at LA Live!
Location:Los Angeles, CA
Area:72,000 square feet
ESPN’s five-story production and broadcast facility is located within the L.A. Live complex in Downtown Los Angeles, consisting of 72,000 square feet of 45-foot high broadcast studios, newsroom, edit bays, production rooms, audio rooms, three production control rooms, two master control rooms, one newsroom screening area, eight edit suites, one music room, one radio control room and studio, one voiceover room and two studios, executive offices, kitchen conference center, support areas, full data center, including full “Business As Usual” redundancy in all MEP systems. Additionally, the project includes a two-story rooftop steel structure supporting MEP infrastructure, housing all equipment on top with ductwork and piping below, and several equipment rack rooms.
The project began with a preconstruction phase that included a particular focus on technical requirements and extensive coordination of the MEP systems documents, preordering of products to accelerate construction and the final installation of broadcast systems to ensure delivery of a state-of-the-art studio space. Buildout began while the building was still under construction and open to the outside environment requiring coordination with the base building contractor. As a benefit of this early involvement, the team was able to identify areas early on that would potentially hinder delivery and provide solutions to maintain schedule – coordination of manlifts for access where elevators were not yet completed, stud installation before roof closure, and rectifying inconsistencies with shop drawings with regards to concrete and structural steel on the roof to allow for subsequent installation of the generators and ductwork. Multiple levels of redundancy in the MEP systems allow for continuation of studio operations regardless of power outages or equipment failures. The UPS system, in conjunction with the rooftop backup generators, provides clean and uninterrupted power to all technical areas. In the event of HVAC equipment failure, dampers in the ductwork between dual air handlers capable of handling 75% of maximum load allow for continuous flow of chilled air in the studios and equipment rooms.
Critical features of the project include schedule coordination with the Broadcast Systems Integrator, particularly with respect to the installation of equipment racks. The entire facility is over a raised floor system installed over a copper mat grounding system. Pre-action smoke detectors and VESDA, a very early warning aspirating smoke detection system, were installed at all critical areas. Additionally, the two high-bay broadcast studios included custom millwork production sets and custom MDF flooring that required extensive coordination to allow for paneled access to the electrical and smoke detectors.
Programming originating from the facility included SportsCenter and additional ESPN content. At the time of completion, the new production center was at the forefront of the next generation of 1080P high-definition, the highest and best HD resolution available. ESPN’s system design made the Los Angeles location the first 1080P production facility in the world. This new technology has, over time, enabled ESPN to provide a host of compelling new digital experiences for consumers.