CLR043 Fire Station

Coffman provided landscape architecture, civil, mechanical, fire protection, and electrical engineering for the new fire station at Clear Air Force Station. The 20,583 sf facility, designed to a LEED Silver rating, serves as a new fire station with four drive through apparatus bays, offices, a dayroom, kitchen, laundry, toilets, showers, storage, mechanical room, electrical room, telecom room, dormitory space, and an Emergency Communications Center (Dispatch). The new fire station replaced the existing one, which was demolished as part of the project program. The new station accommodates 14 emergency vehicles of varying sizes and types and other various government-furnished firefighting and maintenance equipment, such as oxygen compressors and hose dryers. The first responders at this station mobilize to cover emergency dispatch for 60 miles to the north and south of their base.

Civil engineering services included site design, permitting, and construction administration services. Drinking water, sanitary sewer, steam, and condensate connections to the building extended from the utility system through direct buried piping. A recirculation heat add system on the drinking water connection provides freeze protection. An incorporated lift station connects the building to the existing sanitary sewer system. Grading with drainage design and onsite stormwater infiltration basins incorporates the site layout to mitigate stormwater runoff. Site access consists of circulation drives to accommodate the design vehicles and sidewalks, providing pedestrian circulation to existing parking and nearby buildings. The project site was an undeveloped grass field of approximately four acres in size. Utilities required extensive design and construction efforts to connect new direct-bury potable water, sanitary sewer, steam, and condensate to existing utilities. The site development included pedestrian walkways, apparatus driveways, antiterrorist and force protection barriers, setbacks, vehicle access control, and storm-water retention design requirements related to the building program. The civil design also included a sanitary sewer lift station providing the fire station and adjacent buildings with sewer connection/service.

The mechanical system design provides ventilation air, per ASHRAE 62.1 guidelines, in the administrative space, dormitory areas, and apparatus bays. The systems utilize air-to-air heat recovery exchangers to reduce energy usage during cold winter months. The system exceeds ASHRAE 90.1 compliance using R-40 walls and roofing. The design team worked closely with base fire staff to provide hose drying, compressed air, and connections for the apparatus. Due to site constraints, the design offers a lift station to ensure waste drainage back to the base wastewater utility. Other mechanical systems included plumbing for the facility restrooms, janitor closet sinks, and domestic water heating. An oil water separator protects the apparatus bay drainage to contain any POL that could wash into the drain system. The mechanical design also included a generator day tank and an above-grade fuel tank to allow for 75 hours of run time.

Per NFPA 1221, this Emergency Communications Center requires a critical operations power system (COPS) in accordance with NFPA 70. Classified as critical to life safety, the generator requires power transfer within 10 seconds and provisions to run continuously for 75 hours without refueling. The generator is the backup service to an automatic transfer switch (ATS), which is primarily fed by a secondary electrical service lateral from the service transformer. The facility is powered via a new 300 kVA, 480/277V, pad-mounted transformer. An underground service lateral runs from the transformer to service-rated ATS via a metered CT cabinet in the electrical room. Dry-type step-down transformers within the facility provide a 208/120V three phase, four-wire service. Interior power requirements include fire pumps, heat recovery units, central heating pumps, and lighting.

The building design includes a lightning protection system per NFPA 780 and UFC 3-575-01. A ground ring provided per MIL-HDBK-419A interfaces the lightning and grounding systems. The light fixtures throughout the building are energy-efficient LED type, with suspended high bay fixtures used in the apparatus bay. All utility spaces include low bay industrial type and strip fixtures. There are occupancy sensors in the office areas, egress pathways, and bathrooms, and dimmer switches in office areas and other occupied spaces. Dimmer switches control the LED lights in the apparatus bay with override on-off control. Exterior lighting has LED lights to exceed ASHRAE 90.1 compliance. Photosensors control exterior lighting to shut off between sunrise and sunset automatically.

The project scope included a fire alarm and mass notification system to protect the entire fire station facility. The system is based on a single addressable Edwards EST-360 fire alarm control panel for all detection and alarm functions in the facility and to supervise all control valves. The fire alarm system was designed to communicate directly with the existing Edwards Fire Works front-end supervising station. The fire protection engineering design includes a wet pipe sprinkler system designed in accordance with UFC 3-600-01 requirements. The design for office and administrative areas of the building consists of a light hazard occupancy and provides a minimum density of 0.10 gpm/ft² over the remote 1,500 ft² with a maximum sprinkler spacing for these areas of 225 ft². Due to the cold weather conditions in ASHRAE Climate Zone 7, dry pendent-type sprinklers are located within the entry vestibules. The communication rooms include sidewall sprinklers with head guards.

The CLR043 Fire Station design maximized occupant safety and security while providing flexibility for coordination with the future development of other facilities supporting the base mission. Also included are minimum 82’ standoff distances within the controlled perimeter and limited vehicle access points to the site. Additional anti-terrorism/force protection (AT/FP) elements include HVAC shutdown capability, specialized glazing, and expanded clear areas along fence lines in accordance with the base and DoD requirements. Due to the high insulation value, increased wall thicknesses reduced the internal building footprint for support spaces. This required close coordination between disciplines. The design team provided consolidated site elements to meet a reduced budget and met this challenge by utilizing innovative design strategies acquired from decades of experience working with USACE.

Photos provided by Ken Graham Photography


  • Federal


  • Acoustics
  • Civil Engineering
  • Design-Build
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Fire Protection Engineering
  • Industrial Design
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Structural Engineering