Fire station design has come a long way since the days of dark dayrooms, group bunk rooms, and fire poles. When the City of Kansas City sought out a state of the art 12,000 SF fire station on a 7.3-acre site to serve the city’s northeast neighborhood, the Design Team responded with a single-story design with a number of innovative features related to firefighter well-being, sustainability, and function.
One issue with fire station design is related to a perception that near-complete interior darkness is preferred by firefighters. With an understanding of the health benefits of daylight in hand, the Design Team developed a concept that allows glare-free daylight into the kitchen and dayroom, to allow firefighters to experience and benefit from shifting diurnal and seasonal patterns. A shaded exterior patio directly adjacent to the dayroom encourages firefighters to spend time outdoors while remaining close to the apparatus bays.
The station is a pilot in the KC Smart Sustainability Program, an initiative aimed at capitalizing on smart technology in order to elevate sustainability and human health outcomes appropriate to a building’s operation, location and budget. The design incorporates sensor technology intended to reduce the firefighters’ exposure to harmful airborne carcinogens that are released during fire incidents. Other sustainable solutions include water recapture from apparatus wash; a high-efficiency VRF HVAC system and interactive systems performance monitoring to keep systems operating at peak efficiency.
The new station includes three vehicle bays, kitchen, day room, blackout-ready bunk rooms, shared study, public lobby, public restrooms, watch desk area, fitness room, laundry, and locker rooms, decon zones, and EMS storage. The site features an outdoor patio, a 25-space parking lot for visitors and personnel, and space for future expansion to accommodate fleet growth
Dan Maginn FAIA was Principal-in-Charge of the project while at DRAW.