Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Eco-friendly Fire Station open house announced

Posted By on Tue, Aug 27, 2013 at 10:06 AM

An open house is planned for 10:30 a.m. Thursday to unveil to the public Fire Station 21 at 7320 Dublin Blvd.

The station has been built with all the latest energy- and water-saving features, making it the first LEED-platinum building in the city, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design as determined by the U.S. Green Building Council.
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The design translates to a "substantial reduction" in utility bills, the department said in a news release. In fact, the building is expected to show a savings of 60 percent in utility costs in its lifespan compared to other fire stations. Energy savings result from a ground-source heat pump system which circulates fluid through tubing buried below ground. " The result is a system that does not use natural gas, but efficiently uses energy generated by solar panels to power small circulating pumps," the release said.

Solar photovoltaic panels on the roof will generate much of the station's electricity needs; the balance will come from wind power acquired through renewable energy credits obtained by Colorado Springs Utilities. From the release:

Another important energy-saving features is the use of passive heating and cooling systems. Several brick walls are provided on the building interiors at a very economical cost. These walls absorb the sun's heat during the winter and the heat is radiated back into the interior spaces so that there is less of a need for mechanical heating. An opposite process happens in the summer. Shading devices are provided on the exterior and are positioned so that there is no direct solar gain through any window during the air-conditioning season. Shades are angled to block summer sun but to allow the winter sun to pass through the glass windows. The passive systems also provide an abundance of day lighting, reducing the need for artificial lighting which further reduces the electricity requirements of the station.

Moreover, the station is the first building in El Paso County to have an approved grey-water system, which means the building will use non-potable water from showers and from washing machines for irrigation of community gardens on the site's south side.

Fire Station 21 represents an "old firehouse" design concept. It is basically a 2-story building with about 5,990 square feet on each floor. Work areas and living quarters are located on the upper level and apparatus bays are on the lower level. Firefighters can access the bays quickly when an alarm is sound by using fire poles or stairways to reach the fire trucks below. The apparatus bays are also equipped with bi-folding vertical-hinged doors. Over the life of the facility having these doors will save substantial dollars on operations and maintenance costs.

The new Station 21 designed by
Fennell Group is a model of resource management and energy efficiency and at the same time creates streamlined functionality for firefighting operations. The City of Colorado Springs and the Colorado Springs Fire Department will enjoy lower utility bills, lower maintenance costs, and highly-efficient operations for many years to come.

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