Fire station opens its doors

ENCINITAS — The city has opened the recently completed Encinitas Fire Station No. 3 at 801 Orpheus Ave. The 1970s-era Encinitas Fire Station No. 3 was completely demolished last year so that it could be replaced with modern, expanded public safety facilities. The new station spans 7,256 square feet, more than double its original size, and has the capacity to house extra engines and firefighters in the event of large-scale disasters like flooding or wildfire.
The first floor of the station includes offices, a training classroom, physical fitness area and three bays for emergency equipment. In addition to the main fire engine and one reserve engine, Station No. 3 is home to a rescue trailer specially suited to confined space emergencies. This type of rescue equipment is not readily found in fire departments in surrounding communities like Del Mar, Solana Beach or Rancho Santa Fe.
The firefighters’ living area is upstairs, including four bedrooms with two beds each, a dining area, kitchen and day room. The station’s design also includes a deck for outdoor living space. In addition to stairs, which firefighters typically would use to respond to an emergency, the station also features a firefighters’ pole.
“It’s an interesting building,” said Encinitas Fire Department Division Chief Scott Henry, who is the project manager. “I think the uniqueness – not at all cookie-cutter square – speaks to the character of our city.”
In place since construction started and for everyday use going forward at Fire Station No. 3, sustainable systems include erosion control measures, storm water management, low water use landscaping, and highly efficient irrigation and water heaters. The station features storage and collection areas for recyclables. Energy efficiency also is evident in the lighting utilized at the station, including use of LED exit signs, compact fluorescent lighting fixtures and occupancy sensors, which automatically turn out lights in rooms when they aren’t in use.
Architecturally, the station utilized recycled building materials and use of regional materials, including the masonry block. Low emitting/low VOC materials, finishes and coatings were used for the building’s flooring, paints and sealants.
The windows are tinted, dual glazed and operable for maximizing natural coastal breezes. This also reduces the air conditioning and heating loads for the facility. Installed A/C and heating equipment is very efficient and sustainable, with an energy efficiency ratio of 13. The refrigerant, R-22, has an Ozone Depletion Potential of less than 4 percent and the gas furnace has an efficiency above 92 percent with very low emissions. All of this meets and exceeds the California Energy Commission standards. And much of the fire station’s equipment prior to demolition has been refurbished for reuse today in the kitchen and laundry area.
Like Fire Station No. 3, Encinitas Fire Stations No. 1 and No. 2 will be replaced in a multi-phased design and construction schedule stretched out over the next several years.
“We will have four stations less than 10 years old, and four out of all five of Encinitas’ fire station are Domusstudio designed,” said Chief Henry of the Encinitas Fire Department.
Fire Station No. 2, in Cardiff is currently in the planning process. Designs call for a new 6,330-square-foot facility to be built by 2010 on a bigger site just east of the existing fire station off of Birmingham Drive, west of Interstate 5. Holtan noted that design of downtown Encinitas Fire Station No. 1 is also under way.

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