5 takeaways from a national fire station design expert

BKV architect, Craig Carter, took the stage at the FIERO Fire Station Design Symposium in September to discuss two burning topics regarding fire station design, sustainability and cost efficiency. If you missed his presentation, you’re in luck! Here are the top 5 takeaways for each session.

Session 1: Sustainability in the Fire Station: from Start to Finish to Forever

  1. Millennials seek a sustainable culture in their workplace – to recruit and retain them, you must address it explicitly.
  2. Before hiring a design team, decide what level of sustainability you want to pursue based on your community, public impact and the desired building longevity.
  3. The most impactful green strategy is to reduce square footage. Smaller buildings require less energy and resources to build and to heat, cool, and maintain.
  4. To make long-term progress in energy savings, design buildings that measure how much electricity is going to mechanical systems, lighting and plug loads. Use a similar strategy to track water usage.
  5. To build a culture of sustainability, use a sustainability rating system on your new and existing buildings (e.g. Energy Star, LEED EB, GBI EB), make sustainability a factor in purchasing decisions, challenge your employees to save water and energy and reward success, participate in sustainable challenges (e.g. Bike to Work Week, Green Workplace Challenge), and contribute to research for the environmental impact of fire loss.

Session 2: How to Build a Fire Station for a Lot Less Money

  1. Due to labor and material cost increases, improved regulation and more sophisticated building systems, construction costs are escalating at 5 percent per year, far faster than inflation.
  2. Carefully shrinking rooms and spaces will rapidly reduce costs. A national fire station expert can help you reduced square footage by as much as 33 percent without creating long-term functionality problems.
  3. If properly detailed, a wood-frame structure with low-cost siding materials and certain residential building systems can last over 50 years.
  4. The modern design style was originally created as a way to reduce construction costs, and it is still less expensive than traditional design styles.
  5. There are countless opportunities for grant funding, low-cost financing and reductions in project soft costs.

What’s next?
Contact your national fire station expert to take advantage of their broad knowledge base!

Craig Carter, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Project Architect
Craig’s career is dedicated to working on public sector projects, specifically fire stations. He is the National Lead Fire Station Designer at BKV Group and has completed over 35 fire station projects in the last decade, many of them award winning. Craig holds a Masters of Architecture and is a LEED Accredited Professional with a specialty in Building Design and Construction. He has a strong working knowledge of NFPA, OSHA and other national standards, a deep knowledge of the history of fire station design, and remains up-to-date on the latest national trends. Craig is passionate for fire station design and creates excellent buildings that support firefighters in their service to the public.

Contact Craig at ccarter@bkvgroup.com or 312-279-0465.

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