Petrillo, The Fire Station, The Station Articles

Sedona Fire Station Combines Innovation and Functionality

Issue 10 and Volume 21.

By Alan M. Petrillo

Sedona (AZ) Fire District Station 6 has won a number of awards for station design, energy, and innovation, but its most outstanding value, according to the district fire chief, is its functionality coupled with its energy efficiency and how it harmonizes with its red rock desert environment.

Chief Kris Kazian says that while the station is designated number six, it actually is the fifth staffed station in the district. “We needed a station in the Chapel area of Sedona between its next closest station and the equally important village of Oak Creek, where we have a busy station because of a couple of nursing homes and a lot of population,” he explains. “We needed a station in between that could help reduce response times, especially when we were out on other calls.”

1 Sedona (AZ) Fire District Station 6, designed by LEA Architects of Phoenix, Arizona, won a National Design Honor Award from the Fire Industry Education Research Organization (F.I.E.R.O.) and an Arizona Governor’s Award for Energy and Innovation. (Photos courtesy of LEA Architects unless otherwise noted.)
1 Sedona (AZ) Fire District Station 6, designed by LEA Architects of Phoenix, Arizona, won a National Design Honor Award from the Fire Industry Education Research Organization (F.I.E.R.O.) and an Arizona Governor’s Award for Energy and Innovation. (Photos courtesy of LEA Architects unless otherwise noted.)

The district covers 168 square miles for fire protection and 274 square miles for emergency medical services (EMS). It has 75 paid firefighters, including 38 paramedics and the rest emergency medical technicians (EMTs). It responds to 4,500 fire and EMS calls a year. The district runs five Type 1 engines (one Pierce, two HME, and two KME with another Pierce on order), a Sutphen SPH 100-foot aerial platform, three water tenders, two Type 3 engines, two Type 6 engines, three utility terrain vehicles (UTVs), and seven ambulances.

2 LEA Architects designed the station with solar panels cantilevered on the top of a wall that faces south because the station’s roof slanted in the wrong direction to catch optimal sun rays.
2 LEA Architects designed the station with solar panels cantilevered on the top of a wall that faces south because the station’s roof slanted in the wrong direction to catch optimal sun rays.

Sedona Station 6 has two double-deep, drive-through apparatus bays; a training community room; a kitchen and dining area; a dayroom; five dorm rooms (each with three lockers for the three working shifts); a workout room; offices; a communications room; an electrical room; a clean laundry; and a decon laundry.

LEA Architects of Phoenix, Arizona, designed the station with an innovative use of technology by mounting solar photovoltaic (PV) panels cantilevered from the top of a wall so they can double as shade for exterior work and training spaces, carports with solar PV panels, roof solar tube skylights that deliver natural light to interior spaces, and light-colored pavements to mitigate the heat island effect. The station also is set up for rain harvesting from the roof, but collection tanks and pumps were not installed because of budgetary constraints.

3 The kitchen, eating area, and day room are designed to flow together to make a large, open space for firefighters.
3 The kitchen, eating area, and day room are designed to flow together to make a large, open space for firefighters.

Lawrence Enyart, FAII, LEED AP, LEA Architects’ president, and his son, Lance Enyart, AIA, LEED AP, worked closely with the district and Sedona communities over eight years to design the station. The project had to navigate both financial and political constraints before it could come to fruition.

Lawrence Enyart says that “a simple building palette of local masonry, recycled components, solar tubes, rain chains, corten steel, and ground red aggregate concrete, with the extensive use of local masonry, were used for this project. Masonry is used in this 24/7/365 building for durability, beauty, sound mitigation, recycled components, and thermal mass.” He adds, “The existing site’s natural resources were protected, and a majority of the existing spruce and pinion pines were protected and saved during construction.”

4 The station has five dorm rooms, each with three lockers for three working shifts; a training room (shown here); a workout room; offices; a communications room; an electric room; and clean and decon laundries.
4 The station has five dorm rooms, each with three lockers for three working shifts; a training room (shown here); a workout room; offices; a communications room; an electric room; and clean and decon laundries.

The station has received the National Design Honor Award from the International Association of Fire Chiefs and the Fire Industry Education Research Organization (F.I.E.R.O.), an Arizona Masonry Guild Architectural Design Excellence Award, the Coconino County Sustainable Building Program Advanced Level Plus Design Excellence Award, and the Arizona Governor’s Award for Energy and Innovation. The station meets all the sustainable design considerations for LEED certification.

 5 The station has two double-deep, drive-through apparatus bays.
5 The station has two double-deep, drive-through apparatus bays.

Working with neighbors was an important facet in getting the station built on a challenging piece of property that was long and narrow, says Enyart. “The site was somewhat of a challenge,” he says. “There was a low point on the site, and it was a long, skinny, and narrow site. Existing structures nearby were a church and a synagogue, so we worked with them to harmonize the station in the environment.”

Kazian says that the district, the church, and the synagogue are all good neighbors. “We built a Friendship Trail from Station 6 to the church and the synagogue,” he says, “so they can overflow to our parking lot with shared parking and driveways when they need to, and we can use their driveway to reach the rear doors of the apparatus bays.”

6 The entryway is eye-catching, especially at night, and leads to a lobby, off of which is a training/community room.
6 The entryway is eye-catching, especially at night, and leads to a lobby, off of which is a training/community room.

The solar panels mounted on a separate exterior wall are unusual, Enyart notes. “We didn’t mount the solar panels on the roof because it slanted in the wrong direction and we couldn’t flip the station around to accommodate them,” he says. “So we cantilevered them off the top of a wall that faces south and protects the generator and the end of the building with other critical infrastructure and also provides an open space for training or relaxing.”

Inside the station, the kitchen, eating area, and day room flow together to make a large open space, Enyart says. “We didn’t want to wall off rooms from each other,” he points out. “We wanted to have the flow between various areas. And, the patio area is very generous and adjacent to the kitchen. In fact, the entire design is contiguous where all the rooms are close to the apparatus bays. We needed to design a compressed footprint for the site and to keep the costs down.”

7 Sedona Fire District installed a 9/11 memorial in front of Station 6 on September 11 this year, with the centerpiece of the memorial being a three-ton column section from one of the World Trade Center towers, shown here being lowered into place. (Photo courtesy of the Sedona Fire District)
7 Sedona Fire District installed a 9/11 memorial in front of Station 6 on September 11 this year, with the centerpiece of the memorial being a three-ton column section from one of the World Trade Center towers, shown here being lowered into place. (Photo courtesy of the Sedona Fire District.)

The fire district recently dedicated a 9/11 memorial at Sedona Station 6, with the installation of a 3,000-pound exterior beam from the World Trade Center outside the front of the station.

ALAN M. PETRILLO is a Tucson, Arizona-based journalist, the author of three novels and five nonfiction books, and a member of the Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment editorial advisory board. He served 22 years with the Verdoy (NY) Fire Department, including in the position of chief.