Intended to be a U.S. Green Building Council LEED Silver certified building, the design team carefully considered sustainability during each phase and aspect of the project design. LEED-certified projects must be awarded a certain number of points out of a 100-point scale to obtain certification. The points are awarded based on a variety of criteria: sustainability of its site; the building’s water efficiency and energy usage; materials and resources used to construct the building; indoor environmental quality; and innovation of the design. Based on the number of points a project receives, a building can reach certified, silver, gold or platinum recognition levels.
Henrico County, Virginia, partnered with DCH Architects, LLC and ms consultants to design a new “green” fire house.
The design team prepared LEED documentation for certification. As part of this documentation service, ms documented end-usage results of implemented lighting controls, light pollution reduction, water efficient and indigenous plants landscaping, and water-conserving fixtures. An energy model, a vital component to receiving LEED certification, was completed by ms. The U.S. Green Building Council requires energy modeling to assess the baseline energy use of a building and quantify savings attributed to the final design.
Upon completion, the Henrico Fire Station received a LEED Silver certification.
One of the most challenging aspects of the project was its site constraints. The new firehouse was constructed while the existing station remained operational. The new project site, across the street from the existing structure, has two water towers that posed some design challenges, requiring the new site to be L-shaped. Adjustments also had to be made for new utility easements to avoid existing water tower easements.
ms consultants’ primary engineering roles included mechanical, electrical, utility and plumbing services. Additionally, ms provided full landscape architecture design for the more than 10,000 square foot fire station.