FAIRBANKS RANCH FIRE STATION
RANCHO SANTA FE, CALIFORNIA
OWNER - RANCHO SANTA FE FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT
SIZE - 10,500 SQUARE FEET
COST - $5 MILLION
COMPLETED - APRIL 2012
The new Fairbanks Ranch Fire Station is one of the safest buildings in its community. The new 10,500-square-foot station replaced the former Station No. 3, a 3,000-square-foot-facilty built in 1983. In 1986, California adopted the Essential Services Buildings Seismic Safety Act, requiring that public safety buildings be built 125 percent stronger than non-safety buildings. With the failure to meet the adopted safety requirements and the increased strain to meet the needs of the community’s growing population, the small fire station was deemed inadequate and demolished in 2010.
Because the new station is in a flood zone, special construction techniques had to be implemented to stabilize the ground beneath the building. The new station also includes an emergency generator and diesel fuel tanks. Each of these measures was critical to the fire department, to ensure that the new station and its fire trucks can function in an earthquake or other disaster. Furthermore, the new station was designed as a two-story structure so that fire trucks and ambulances can exit and enter safely and efficiently. Because the old station had only one driveway for entry and exit, firefighters had to stop traffic on the main avenue and back the fire trucks into the station each time they returned from a call. The new building has two driveways, so trucks can pull into the building and out again, without having to shift into reverse.
The design of the fire station incorporates the programming of space requirements to house up to 6 fire fighters. Areas include an apparatus room with two drive-thru bays, bunk rooms, fitness area, kitchen, day room, study, and work shop. The station also features sustainable building techniques which make it more energy efficient. State of the art building systems and technology make this structure a comfortable home for the fire fighters as well as a highly capable essential service facility. This modern facility utilizes sustainable systems including an integrated solar roof tile, variable refrigerant heating and cooling, drought tolerant landscaping, and the inclusion of recyclable building materials.
The new station does have one old-fashioned component — a brass fire pole which allows firefighters to quickly drop down from their living quarters to the equipment bay when they get an emergency call.
Everything’s about safety and response time. In the case of an emergency, every second is important.