July 21, 2014
Since it opened back in February, the Fontaine Avenue Fire Station has been a predominant building in the Charlottesville community. During its construction, city leaders wanted to make sure that it would be a benefit, not only for faster response times to fires, but also for the environment.
“Everyone is trying to save energy cost and lower the amount of energy that is needed to operate,” says David Hartman, project lead for the Charlottesville Fire Department.
The new station is doing just that by using LEED-compliant systems.
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and throughout the 38,000 sq. ft. building there are 28 different systems made to lower energy costs and use from the first floor to the roof.
“There are 25 solar tubes on the roof and they pass through the roof and then go to diffusers,” says Hartman. “That diffuser basically brings the sun through the roof and we're able to use that light for most of the day every day.”
They also recycle rain water throughout the station.
“All of the drains collect all of the rain water that comes down, it goes to the back of the property to a 20,000 gallon cistern and then we pump it back in the building and use it to flush the fixtures and 13 of the bathrooms in the building,” explains Hartman.
They also collect water through patios outside of the station, which allows rain water to soak through the ground and then be reused.
Other systems include a tank less water heater that only releases hot water when needed, a geothermal heating system that uses groundwater to create heat, as well as dual flush toilets.
With all of these state of the art features, the station aims to have a platinum level LEED certification.