ChallengeThe Longmont Fire Services Division provides fire protection and emergency medical services for the City of Longmont, located 33 miles northwest of Denver. With a population of ~90,000 and growing, the inviting and bustling City hosts six fire stations throughout the community – responding to more than 10,000 calls for service each year.
To accommodate the growing needs, Fire Station #2 and Fire Station #6 are undergoing rebuilds. Fire Station #2 is being re-located to an area more central to the needs for emergency services, while Fire Station #6 is being rebuilt on the existing property. The new stations were needed due to significant population growth, aging buildings and the desire to create modern designs that would lead to performance efficiencies, accommodate today’s fire trucks and equipment, improve response times and better serve the fire services staff.
The Longmont Fire Services Division’s primary purpose is “to serve the community by protecting life, property and the environment through preparation, prevention and response.” With this mission and community interests top of mind, the City partnered with SEH subsidiary SEH|Design Build and construction company Taylor Kohrs under a single contract to lead design and construction of the new fire stations.
SolutionBudget constraints and strict timeline mitigated by design-build delivery method
The design-build process involves fully selecting the team, from design through construction, then bringing the entire team to the table to plan and design the project under a single contract. The City, architect and design team, and construction contractor operate as a single team – creating better control over the budget, timeline and design, collaboration and problem solving. In addition, as part of the design-build method, the project delivery team assumes full responsibility which removes liability from the City.
Also factoring into the decision to use the design-build delivery method, City residents approved a bond that provided the City with a set amount of money that had to be used by a certain date. At the same time these projects entered the design phase, the cost for materials had risen by 25% – further adding to budget constraints. Condensing the number of contractors into a single team allowed the project to move forward quickly and efficiently, taking full advantage of the bond allocation.
SEH’s visualization capabilities (highlighted in the video above) contributed to project acceleration by making it possible for the team to present and fully experience the fire station designs virtually and long before construction. Ultimately, the design-build delivery method and project team’s technological capabilities enabled the City to design the new facilities and make plans for construction with limited resources under an expedited timeline.
Simultaneous fire station design truncates schedule and reduces expenses
The City capitalized on the economies of scale by undertaking both fire stations simultaneously. The fire stations were designed with similar floor plans and building materials, which reduced overall costs (e.g., purchasing materials in bulk) and shortened the design timeline.
Partnering with a multidisciplined, single team empowered the architects to think like builders and builders to think like architects. This symmetry moved the project forward quickly and at the highest quality possible, yet at a lower cost.
Fire station designs: Modern, comfortable, inclusive
Fire Station #2 is a single-story, 11,100 sq. ft. design. Due limited space, Fire Station #6 is two-story, 11,350 sq ft. design. Each will feature five pull-through apparatus bays with the goal of creating faster response times.
Each station will also include six private dorm rooms with TVs, showers and bathrooms. Creating collaborative and communal fire stations that also feature private areas like these contribute to gender inclusivity as well as physical and mental health. Each fire station has a full-service kitchen, recreational areas, laundry room, private offices and a fitness center.
The fire stations were designed and are being built to accommodate overnight stays for staff shifts of 48 hours and longer. Creating warm and welcoming fire stations for staff that work diligently at all hours creates a home-away-from-home feel, something older fire stations often lack.
Integrating sustainable design features
The fire stations meet Green Globe sustainability requirements, a nationally recognized green rating assessment, guidance and certification program that helps municipalities and businesses create formal paths toward meeting sustainability goals.
The sustainability measures for Fire Station #2 and Fire Station #6 include sustainable building materials, solar energy features, and energy efficient systems and equipment that meet Green Globes standards. In addition, the City auctioned off the old contents, systems and outbuildings from Fire Station #2 rather than sending them to a landfill, while the strategy used during demolition of Fire Station #6 safely mitigated asbestos and protected the surrounding community.
As the Longmont Fire Services Division remains committed to protecting the community and supporting its service members, the new fire stations will likewise support the community and Fire Services Division staff for decades to come.
Longmont Fire Stations #2 and #6 – Design-Build
City of Longmont, Colorado
City of Longmont
- Fire Station #2: Single-story, 11,100 sq. ft. design
- Fire Station #6: Two-story, 11,350 sq ft. design; multiple stories due to limited space at site
- Fire pole balcony to create faster response time from second story dorms
- 5 pull-through apparatus bays
- 6 private dorm rooms with TVs, showers and bathrooms to accommodate all genders
- Visual connection from watch room to apparatus bay area
- Full-service kitchens and recreational areas
- Laundry rooms, private offices and spacious storage spaces
- Fitness rooms with direct access to outdoor activities
- Carcinogen sensitive design with separate airlock, decontamination and personal protective equipment (PPE) storage spaces
- Ambulances and emergency response personnel housed at fire stations
- Designs meet Green Globe sustainability requirements:
- Solar energy features (e.g., solar gain on windows)
- Outdoor water use reduction by utilizing native low water plants
- Sustainable building materials
- Ability to accommodate future electric vehicle charging
- Water efficient plumbing fixtures
- Energy efficient mechanical equipment and appliances
- Asbestos mitigation during demolition
- Civil engineering
- Design-build project delivery
- Landscape architecture
- Mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering
- Structural engineering