Fire stations are very unique building typologies which combine a home and workplace into one building. We worked closely with the fire department to make sure that both functions occurred symbiotically in this LEED Gold, Fire Station #8. Clearstory windows throughout the building provide natural light into the apparatus bay, dayroom, and offices. Seven individual dorm rooms consist of large floor-to-ceiling lockers, lockable under-bed storage, operable windows, and programmable tones for fire and EMS. The firefighters are also provided with a designated training/workout room, individual toilet rooms permitting flexibility in gender usage, gear grid lockers, and lighting programmed and coordinated with radio alarm. The impact rated, glass apparatus bay doors provide light into the space and allow it to be displayed to the community. The final building gives the firemen a very comfortable, maintenance-free environment.
This LEED Gold building was designed and constructed for an 80 year lifespan by using honest materiality. Instead of veneer brick, we used exposed structural brick, and in replacement of laminate millwork, we utilized compressed bamboo that is harder than concrete and rapidly renewable. To further reduce maintenance and unneeded materials, we eliminated acoustical ceiling tile by using an acoustical metal deck, and flooring was eliminated by using polished concrete.
We designed Fire Station #8 to be 35 dollars per square foot lower than a comparable, traditional station with wood trusses, concrete block and stucco construction. It is also 25% more efficient than a standard building, saving approximately 6,000 dollars per year in electricity. A 2,000 gallon cistern to collect rainwater for irrigation was installed, as well as drought tolerant plants, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and structural brick which eliminated the need for interior gypsum board or painting. Only 5% of the building’s exterior ever requires painting, and the fire station itself allows for 30% more outside air and ventilation than a standard building.