When in Windsor - September 2011
LEED Certification for Windsor Fire Station #2 In 2007, Windsor passed Measure K to fund the design and construction of the award-winning Windsor Fire Station #2. On August 18th, 2011, all the parties involved came together to celebrate the Station’s acceptance as Windsor’s first LEED certified green building.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies intended to improve performance in metrics such as energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, and improved indoor environmental quality.
A fire station presents a unique design challenge for LEED engineers because it includes elements of a warehouse and maintenance facility, offices for administration, and also living quarters for the staff. Luckily, LEED is a program that works for both residential and commercial buildings.
I attended the event to see first-hand all the sustainable elements in the building design and operation. A big bonus was meeting the honorable firemen and women who protect and serve our local community. Firefighter Engineer Keith Meulheim gave us a tour of the facility.
The kitchen, dining, and living area were designed with windows placed to maximize natural light, reducing the need for electrical lighting. The Station uses green cleaning products, paint, and sealants. Much of the Station was constructed with recycled materials, including old $1 bills in the kitchen counter-tops. Even the beautiful front of the Station is made from a recycled 100,000 gallon old-growth redwood water tank.
Firefighters like Keith Meulheim were an integral was part of the design process. He said the crew was happy to sacrifice some floor space in the gym for a larger yard to run practice drills. Keith mentioned that the green features needed to also be functional or they could not be used for a fire station. After taking the tour I can say that both were achieved.
This is the first LEED certified building in Windsor and the hope is that others would follow the example. Well, already Windsor Fire Station #1 has begun to implement some of the same green elements, which is a great start.