Vail Fire Station #3 Achieves LEED Gold Certification

POC: April Wackerman

Resources: Report and Press Release – March 2012
Uploaded: May, 3, 2012

The Town of Vail and Vail Fire and Emergency Services are extremely proud to have achieved a LEED Gold certification for the new West Vail Fire Station # 3. Vail has embraced environmental sustainability and the construction of the new fire station was one of the first projects in which we collaborated with the Institute for the Built Environment. Our project was not only a success, but we enjoyed the learning process along the way. Our Architect, Belford-Watkins Architect Group, was very knowledgeable and invaluable in the LEED process. As one of only five fire stations in Colorado to achieve LEED certification, we are thrilled to be leading by example and reaping the benefits of exceptional energy savings.” –Mark Miller, Fire Chief.
The Town of Vail, CO. has just opened its newly LEED Gold Certified Fire Station and as stated above it is one of only five in the entire state of Colorado to achieve this level of efficiency in building, design, and construction.  Much of the credit is due to the diligence of the designers and contractors who were able to recycle 91% of the construction waste to keep it from going to the landfill.  16% of the materials used in construction were regionally sourced with an additional 10% of the materials containing recycled content.  By setting design and construction goals early in the project planning process, the team was able to reach some amazing efficiencies.

·         Highly efficient indoor water fixtures have reduced the daily water consumption by 41% compared to a typical building.  

·         High performance glazing, daylighting, lighting controls, increased R-values in the roof and walls, and other features contribute to the superior energy performance of the building, allowing it to perform over 21% better than a similar building built to code.

·         Daylighting throughout 99% of the building reduces energy consumption and improves the quality of the indoor environment. 

·         Low VOC adhesives, paints, and carpets increased the air quality of the indoor environment.
·         The Town of Vail has also decided to purchase Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to offset 70% of the estimated electricity needs of the building for 2 years.
The building is a 15,000 square foot facility which includes housing to accommodate up to 12 firefighters and modern training facilities.   These modern professional training facilities are state-of-the-art apparatuses designed to increase the effectiveness of fighting fires in the high rise multiple occupancy structures.   
The location of the building is conveniently located close to alternative transportation corridors and access points giving it a high profile and adding to its appeal for the town.  It serves as an educational center piece by displaying panels that detail the green design elements of the building.  Visitors, students, and staff gain valuable insight and understanding by experiencing the building and reading about the techniques that went into the design and construction of the building.  In addition, Graduate student interns with the Institute for the Built Environment were directly involved in the LEED coordination and documentation process. Graduate students from the Departments of Construction Management and Interior Design participated and guided the LEED certification process.  These real-world project experiences are invaluable educational tools that not only help students understand the LEED process but give them a leg up in our extremely competitive employment environment.
Funding for Vail Fire and Emergency Services Station 3 was provided by the Town of Vail general fund reserves and from the Capitol Project Fund.