Canadian Firefighter Magazine

Canadian fire halls are going green

By CFF Staff   

Features fire halls zero emissions

Carbon-zero firehall in Vancouver. Photo credit: City of Vancouver

Several energy efficient fire stations have opened across Canada. The City of Edmonton opened its 31st fire station, and it’s the city’s first net-zero energy building, which means the total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis is expected to be equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site.

Edmonton’s Windermere fire station features a rooftop solar installation, geothermal heating and cooling system, solar array with 382 modules at 375W each, total rated solar capacity of 143kW, geothermal field of 35 boreholes at 70 metres deep, R-35 exterior wall insulation, roof insulation of R-50, under slab insulation of R-20, double-glazed Low-E windows, LED lighting with occupancy sensors, and six side-folding bay doors.

“This station has been a significant project for Edmonton Fire as we continue to meet the service needs of Edmontonians and our growing city,” said Fire Chief Joe Zatylny in a press release. “In the coming years, Edmonton will be home to two million people, and this station will play an important role in ensuring the safety of both our growing city and our firefighters.”

The building design received the Canadian Architect 2018 Award of Excellence. The budget for planning, design and construction was $21.5 million. The fire station has been open and serving the city’s southwest since July 7.

Further west, Vancouver opened a zero-carbon fire hall. Nearly 60 per cent of Vancouver’s carbon pollution comes from burning gas to heat buildings and hot water, reported the city. The new fire hall was constructed to a zero emissions standard and achieved LEED Gold certification, net zero energy and is on track to achieve Passive House certification.

“This state-of-the-art facility will ensure the City of Vancouver is resilient to potential disasters,” said Fire Chief Karen Fry in a news release. “The new fire hall 17 is part of Vancouver Fire Rescue Services (VFRS) long-term fire hall plan and will meet service needs for the next few decades.”

Located at 7070 Knight Street, the new fire hall was designed to be a post disaster communications hub and is also the second largest training site for VFRS.

In Ontario, the City of Mississauga is constructing two new fire halls. Station 125 is expected to open in the fall of 2024 and is designed to be a net zero energy facility. The construction of Station 125 is connected to a city-wide plan to build six new fire stations over the next 12 years in an effort to optimize emergency response times.

Station 125 and other fire halls across Mississauga, such as Station 123 which is scheduled to open in 2026, is expected to further improve response times to meet the city’s goal of first truck response in four minutes or less, 75 per cent of the time.

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