The new Lee’s Summit Fire Station No. 2 is a prime example of how current practices in green design and construction can make a new facility highly sustainable while maintaining the budget and meeting its essential functions.
While the station will not be certified under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, it would likely qualify, according to Rick Kuhl, the WSKF Architects principal-in-charge and LEED Accredited Professional who led the project design team.
Green design features begin with the site, where lighter-colored concrete was used to minimize the amount of solar heat absorbed by paved areas. Xeriscape design (reduced water landscaping) is used while a rain garden helps control and filter stormwater runoff.
The color and material selection of the station’s roof were carefully chosen to reduce the amount of heat absorbed by the building. Inside, the walls and roof were coated with a special open cell spray foam insulation and vapor control membrane to create a high-performance system that reduces the impact of outdoor temperatures on indoor comfort. “The back of the station site is only about 75 feet from Highways 470 and 291 so the insulation also plays a crucial role in buffering the sleeping quarters from the busy highway noise,” Kuhl explains.
A high-efficiency insulation system is also a key element in the roof, walls and doors of the apparatus bays. “The apparatus bays and support areas are essentially large, open spaces that account for nearly half of the total square footage of the station and its potential energy consumption, so it’s an area of focus in terms of reducing the station’s long-term operating costs,” he adds.
Other green elements of Station No. 2 include high-efficiency lighting, use of natural daylighting to light the interior and recycled material in many of the building materials.