June 2013

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Central Saanich Fire Hall Location by Laurie Jones District of Central Saanich 1512 Keating Cross Road, Saanich, B.C. Owner/Developer Architect Johnston Davidson Architecture + Planning Inc. General Contractor Kinetic Construction Ltd. Structural Consultant Herold Engineering Limited Mechanical Consultant Flow Consulting Group Inc. Electrical Consultant Roy Campbell Ltd. Landscape Architect Greenway Landscape Architecture Total Area 21,500 square feet Total Construction Cost $6.6 million T Central Saanich Fire Hall p86-87Central Saanich firehall.indd 87 properties as the former owners were backyard mechanics, storing old cars and used parts," says French. "We are also beside a gas station, so that alone is an environmental trigger. There were hurdles to get public support, find funding and other administrative procedures to complete. The actual construction process has only been 14 months, but it took three-and-a-half years to get approval to build it." From a LEED and sustainable perspective, the location was a great choice, says Kim Johnston, principal at Johnston Davidson Architecture + Planning Inc. "With two houses previously on the space, it was damaged in a lot of ways with garbage everywhere. The construction team even found a shopping cart and car engines in an old well on the site." The final result is significantly different. "When we talked about the design during public meetings, we discussed options of giving back to the community. We included a park, a basketball court and a playground in the design, and the playground equipment also includes a fire truck. I'm very excited to see that part come together. This will change the dynamics of the entire area." The two-storey fire hall incorporates offices, training areas, washrooms and gear rooms on the first floor. The second floor houses the kitchen, dormitory and change rooms. A four-storey training and hose-drying tower was constructed at the back of the building, and four tandem bays were designed to house trucks and apparatus. Decontamination showers provide a way to keep debris from being brought into the hall after an emergency call. Outside, there is a large training yard and a pump test pit where firefighters can check the water pressure of the pumper trucks. Near the back of the site is a fire pad, sponsored by FortisBC, that uses the area to train its staff in emergency situations. The location for the fire hall is on the fringe of an industrial zone and was chosen to reduce the response times as identified by the municipal insurers. "We should be able to cut the response times to the south part of our district in half because 50 per cent of the volunteers live in that region," says French. Several unique systems were incorporated into the Central Saanich Fire Hall, including solar thermal panels on the roof of the building to help pre-heat water for the mechanical system, and an automatic hose washer located on the face of the tower. "When the firefighters return from a suppression call, they pull up to the side of the tower and unload the hoses," says Eric Lindokken, project manager for Kinetic Construction Ltd. "The hoses are automatically run through the horizontal hose washer images courtesy central saanich fire hall he District of Central Saanich on B.C.'s Vancouver Island has expanded its emergency services operations with the construction of a second fire hall for the combined paidon-call and volunteer firefighting team. Aiming for LEED Gold certification, the designers brought the latest technology and environmentally forwardthinking aspects to the project. "Our current station is at the municipal hall, but it is quite old," says Ron French, Fire Chief for the District of Central Saanich. "For the last 25 years there has been a need for better response times to fires in the municipality, especially in the commercial/industrial area." The new fire hall, scheduled to open in July 2013, will become the main station and the current station will become a satellite hall. By day, the municipality employs a team of five paid firefighters, including Chief French, to answer emergency calls. After hours, the district relies on the large volunteer group. "The Central Saanich volunteer fire department has achieved significant success over the years, answering approximately 900 calls annually," says French. The new station will be a dual-purpose facility, acting as both a fire hall and an emergency operations centre. "All of the district's IT infrastructure will be located in the new station and training rooms will double as the operations centre when needed. It is the only building owned by the municipality that is built for post-disaster requirements." French says it was a challenge to get to the final stage of the project. "We started four years ago with environmental testing of the site. There were many municipal bylaw infractions previously issued against the two then hoisted up the tower to the drying rack. The firefighters can wash the trucks using rain water collected from the roof and stored in five tanks located beside the equipment bays," adds French. Another automatic washer sprays the undercarriage of the trucks as they enter the bay. Any overload from these tanks and surface water on site is directed to a bioswale surrounding the fire hall. In striving for LEED Gold certification, the design team used a geothermal system to increase efficiency. "It provides a fairly constant energy saving throughout the year," says Asif Hussain, partner and engineer at Flow Consulting Group Inc. "It is a waterto-water heat pump system used for a high co-efficient performance, meaning for every one unit of energy used there are three units of heating energy created. We also have a regular boiler as a backup." To complete the project, Paul Whitehead, owner of Greenway Landscape Architecture added a touch of green. "The landscape was to provide a transitional buffer, both visually and physically, between the adjacent commercial, residential and rural neighbours." n june 2013    /87 13-05-30 2:39 PM

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