Fire Station #87 is a concrete-frame building initially designed as a minimalist firehouse. Over 50 years, it was modified to the point where it had become functionally obsolete. The city engaged CT to assist in providing options to help them evaluate the firehouse’s future. Utilizing CT’s metrics, the city quickly determined that the building and site should be renovated to become a modern, state-of-the-art firehouse capable of lasting another 50 years.
The renovation project scope included reworking all critical interior functions within the building, including new spaces and vertical circulation. Demolition included:
- All existing interior non-load-bearing partition walls.
- Replacement of all exterior window and door units.
- Removal of the existing roof membrane.
- Interior and exterior mechanical, electrical, and plumbing equipment.
New interior building spaces were designed for improved building circulation and so that means of egress will be fully ADA compliant. The updated facility has all new data and technology spaces, including a new isolated server room and standby generator powered by natural gas in the event of a power emergency.
The biggest challenge to this project was responding to the COVID-19 emergency during construction and continuing to provide construction administration services. Keeping stakeholders appraised of issues and decisions made in the field was a challenge. The project was started before the pandemic and required rethinking our communications approach mid-way through the project. Redoubled client communication efforts through virtual meetings, additional documentation, phone conversations, and on-site photography have paid dividends in supporting both the contractor and owner with more profound levels of understanding than would otherwise not be achievable without personal field visits.