Issaquah Fire Station No. 72, Swedish-Issaquah Win National Technology Awards

The ASHRAE Technology Awards recognize the two local facilities, which were designed with innovative applications for energy management and indoor air quality.

Issaquah’s newest fire station and newest hospital will soon receive the prestigious national ASHRAE Technology Award.

Nationwide, two of the six first-place awards given in 2013 will be for projects in Issaquah. Issaquah's Fire Station No. 72, one of the most energy efficient fire stations in the world,  has won first place in the "other institutional facilities category. Meanwhile Swedish Issaquah, a state-of-the art hospital that opened in 2011, has been selected for the first-place award for "new health care facilities."

“After celebrating the opening of our nationally-acclaimed zHome – the City’s zero net-energy townhome community – we are extremely proud that Issaquah is now recognized as home to two more, best-in-class buildings,” said Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger. “Sustainable innovation is part of the City’s identity. It is wonderful when our efforts lead to real, tangible results that can inspire the broader region.”

The ASHRAE Technology Awards recognize outstanding achievements by members who have successfully applied innovative building design in the areas of occupant comfort, indoor air quality and energy conservation. Other recipients this year include the renowned National Renewable Energy Lab Research Support Facility in Golden, CO, as well as the Montreal Biodome.

The awards will be given to Ecotope Inc., a firm dedicated to energy efficiency and sustainability that designed the mechanical systems for the fire station; CDi Engineers, Lynnwood, Wash., receives first place in the new health care facilities category for the Swedish Issaquah Hospital; and the City of Issaquah on Jan. 26, 2013 at ASHRAE’s winter conference in Dallas.


About Fire Station No. 72

Issaquah’s station, located at 1575 Maple Street, is the highest scoring LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum fire station in the world. Back in 2003, Issaquah’s Fire Station 73 was the first ever LEED Silver fire station in the country.

Designing the station was a highly-collaborative effort between Ecotope Inc., TCA Architecture ∙ Planning, the City of Issaquah and Eastside Fire and Rescue, which occupies and operates the facility.

The new station uses 70 percent less energy and 50 percent less water compared to other typical fire stations in the region. The building achieved these reductions through the use of super-insulation; ground source heat pumps; a solar electric array; heat recovery ventilation; radiant heat distribution; solar water preheat; high efficiency appliances; advanced lighting designs and controls; and real-time energy use feedback to the firefighters.

The station is held at relatively constant temperature, with radiant heating and cooling in the floor slab. However, due to the stressful and physically demanding work required of the firefighters, the sleeping rooms are also equipped with 4-pipe fan coils with individual temperature control in each private room. This allows firefighters access to cooling on demand when they need to recover after an emergency call.

Also, since firefighters often have to leave the station quickly, there is not time to turn off equipment and lights. Therefore, every room has vacancy sensors for shutting off lights and unnecessary equipment.

“Even with its incredible levels of efficiency, the building’s functionality, durability and comfort are top notch,” said Chief Lee Soptich of Eastside Fire and Rescue. “The firefighters using the station have loved it from day one, and we couldn’t be happier with it.”

The final cost of the station was about $6.6 million, which is $1.4 million under the original estimate. The station was paid for by a variety of sources, including a voter-approved bond, District 10, City capital funding and fire mitigation funds. 


About Swedish-Issaquah

The new hospital includes an emergency department, operating rooms, imaging, cardiology and in-patient rooms. Through innovative design, the building was able to achieve a 54 percent energy savings compared to a baseline EUI 250 kBtu/sf/year for a typical hospital. Efficiency measures include a central plant heat recovery system (HRS); the use of variable air volume (VAV) air systems; recirculating air handling units (AHU) with select units 100 percent outside air capable for pandemic mode; low velocity ductwork, high efficiency AHUs and chillers; and efficient envelope and lighting.

The most innovative efficiency measure employed in the project was the central plant HRS that is estimated to provide approximately 80 percent of the building’s heating and domestic hot water with energy recovered from internal loads. It utilizes a centralized heat pump, advanced controls, heat recovery coils and a series of heat exchangers to move heat from the chilled water system to the hot water systems. In order to maintain the required pressure relationships mandated in hospitals for infection control, the building utilizes return and exhaust air tracking terminal units and venture valves in its ventilation system. This allows central AHUs to vary supply airflow rates based on demand.

Carbon emissions for the building are 47 percent lower than a baseline building, reducing 6,513 tons of carbon emissions each year. Additionally, the plumbing fixtures, selected to provide both water and energy savings, save 30 percent and 50 percent of the water used by standard fixtures.

--Information from ASHRAE and the City of Issaquah


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