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Kern County Justice Facility

Improving the environment within a correctional facility


State & Municipal


Bakersfield, California




Improving the environment for both staff and inmates was a primary consideration for the Kern County Justice Facility in Bakersfield, CA. The project included classrooms and medical spaces, 800-beds, 4 housing control rooms, and recreational, administrative, and educational spaces.

The single-story Tier II (medium-maximum) detention facility spans more than 200,000 square feet with a 900-ton central utility plant. Southland provided design services for the HVAC and plumbing systems.

Our Approach

Our design team was 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.

To decrease overall costs, Southland consolidated air handling units equipment which significantly decreased maintenance and lifecycle costs.

Additionally, we increased the quantity of boilers, which reduced the overall installed capacity and eliminated the requirement for regular air pollution testing, ultimately providing added savings for the owner.

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


The state-of-the-art Kern County Justice Facility, funded through California AB 900, was successfully completed in 2018.


  • Successful Partnerships

    Owner: Kern County General Services
    GC: Balfour Beatty
    Architect: HOK