Blueprint for energy efficiency in fire stations
Fire stations are excellent candidates for energy-efficiency initiatives because they are incredibly consistent; a fire station usually is operated for many years by the same organization, with very consistent levels of staffing, and with the same kind of work being done inside. This stability removes one of the biggest barriers to energy efficiency: uncertainty over occupancy. For example, an office or medical practice might want to make an efficiency upgrade that has a reasonable payback period of five years. The owners might decide against doing so because they think the business will expand in the next three years and need to move, and they aren’t sure if the upgrade cost can be recouped in the sale price. Fire stations rarely will encounter this sort of problem; by and large, a fire station will be a fire station for decades.
There are hundreds of ways to reduce a building’s energy consumption. Some involve equipment replacement, such as upgrading old and inefficient HVAC system components, appliances, and fluorescent-lighting ballasts. Some focus on better energy management, such as installing building automation controls and software that reacts to occupancy changes. Some are basic measures, such as insulating and sealing drafty buildings and keeping proper maintenance schedules. Others reduce load by simply training personnel to be more vigilant about energy waste.
Read the entire story in FIRE CHIEF, our sister publication.