The Fire Station, The Station Articles

Three Common Design and Planning Mistakes for Fire Stations

With any contruction project, there are always pitfalls to avoid. In this video, Ken Newell, of Stewart-Cooper-Newell Architects, describes three common mistakes fire departments make when designing and constructing their new stations.

  1. Not involving an experienced architect early in the process.
    Newell is careful here to provide a distinction between involving and hiring an architect. There are many knowledgeable architects who have designed fire stations through the years who can offer practical advice.
  2. Selecting a site based on the wrong criteria.
    There are various issues involved with selecting a site. Fire stations like flat sites, but besides terrain, some things to watch for are contaminated soil, groundwater issues, and buried debris.
  3. Not designing expansion into a new station.
    According to Newell, stations built today are expected to last between 50 and 75 years. He explains that after 25 to 40 years, departments often want to expand. Design the station today so it is easy to expand later.

Newell expands on these points in the following video.