Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

22 Dec


Fire Station 20: The Most Sustainable Fire Station in the Northwest

December 22, 2014 | By |

The grand opening of Fire Station 20, in the Interbay district of Seattle on December 17th, was as much about sustainability as it was about housing fire fighters. Mayor Ed Murray, City Council member Tim Burgess, and Seattle Fire Chief Gregory Dean spoke about the overlapping themes of public safety and of green building. Several presenters spoke directly to the 5th grade class in attendance, bringing to everyone’s attention that this is their fire station, meant to last for the next generation of Seattleites.

This project exemplifies the City of Seattle’s leadership in sustainable infrastructure; as Mayor Ed Murray proudly stated, this is the greenest fire station in the Pacific Northwest. Design team members including Ida Ottesen of Nakano Associates explained the project and its sustainable features to the 5th grade students.

The building is not only targeting LEED® Platinum but the Architecture 2030 Challenge. The building’s impressive features include:

  • Two green roofs
  • Bio-retention planters
  • Green walls
  • 35KV photovoltaic array
  • Ground-source heat pumps
  • Heat-recovery unit
  • Energy Management and Control System
  • A flip-dot electronic signboard and interpretive displays

A full description of these sustainable features is in this brochure online at:

Fire Station 20 will host a community open house from 11am to 1pm on Saturday January 31, 2015.

Here is a sneak preview of some of the exciting sustainable landscape features:

Fire Station 20 Grand Opening Nakano Associates

Green roof and terraced plantings beyond. The grand opening tour group is looking at the future site of the fire fighters’ vegetable garden on the left of the photo.

Two green roofs reduce stormwater runoff and provide initial filtration before water enters the municipal system. The green roofs also help cool the site through evapotranspiration. Terraced plantings on the northeast corner of the site soften the dramatic retaining walls required by the steep topography at the base of Queen Anne Hill. Over time the plants will cascade down the walls and vines will cover the green screen above.

Fire Station 20 Grand Opening Nakano Associates

Electronic flip-dot sign on 15th Ave W

The City and design team have taken this opportunity to engage and inform the community about how this building and urban landscape can give back to the environment. Education elements include this electronic flip-dot sign and interpretive signage all around the building. The information on the flip-dot sign not only describes sustainability techniques, but how they translate into real numbers.

Fire Station 20 Grand Opening Nakano Associates

Electric vehicle charging stations and native planting beds

Charging stations in the parking lot power the city’s electric fleet vehicles. The majority of plantings around the building and in the bio-retention and stormwater infiltration gardens are native to the Cascadia bioregion.