Sustainable building is playing an increasingly important role in Canada’s post-disaster design standards. When the City of Richmond decided to replace the 40-year-old fire hall serving the Steveston community, they did so with an iconic structure built with structural wood panels formed using mountain pine beetle wood. The Steveston Fire Hall is an example of the City’s commitment to promoting wood in construction due to its low carbon footprint and dedication to using salvaged or recycled materials when possible. The resulting LEED Gold-certified Fire Hall provides firefighters with a base to serve the community.
The Hall’s transparent design engages the community by providing views of the equipment, and gives staff plenty of daylight for bright, warm spaces. Wood panels were left exposed to the interior, creating an uncluttered, natural material palette.
The solid wood decking used for the roof and wall panels of the main fire hall consists of nail laminated timber (NLT), which was nailed in place at the jobsite. NLT panels were also used for the 12-metre-high hose-drying tower and two fire apparatus bays. NLT panels are fabricated using stacks of 2×4 dimensional lumber laid on edge and fastened by long nails, forming a structural panel. NLT offers numerous benefits for the long-span decking, including structural integrity, lower cost and faster procurement times. It can also be left exposed to the building’s interior to provide a natural, warm aesthetic.
Wood’s natural insulating properties also helped contribute to the building’s sustainable design. The high-performance building envelope reduces heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer.
“Sustainability is one of Richmond Council’s term goals, so the City took extra steps to ensure Steveston Fire Hall was truly sustainable in design, construction and operation”.
Mayor Malcolm Brodie
City of Richmond, BC