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When considering sustainability, the environment almost inevitably comes to mind. Many great fire stations today save energy through efficient heating and cooling systems or lighting systems or water systems. Obviously, if systems save money and reduce carbon emissions, they are recognized as being more sustainable. So, we’re done, right?
Certainly, optimizing for climate and conserving natural resources is a great beginning. However, even greater long-term cost savings, effectiveness, and community impact can be achieved with just a few simple added steps. Enter Fire Station No. 21, a Colorado city’s newest fire station and a perfect example of how taking sustainability to this next level is a win-win.
The internationally accredited Colorado Springs Fire Department’s Fire Station No. 21 was built to serve the booming northeast side of the city. Expected to receive more than 900calls for service in its first year, the station has a response area of 14.45 square miles. A 24-hour-a-day staff of four, supported by a Type-1 engine and a Type-6 brush truck, serves a population of approximately 18,000 residents and 7,765 structures. It’s a warm and inviting neighborhood fire station – with services that include a community health program that provides preventive health care to citizens through community clinics and outreach — but its construction is anything but old fashioned.
The station’s innovations go far beyond those commonly associated with sustainable fire station design. There are considerable reductions in initial and life-cycle costs, energy and water have received thumbs-ups and big smiles from the community.