This opportunity arose when the town of Hudson, New Hampshire needed a new fire station. The 7,800sf, brand new, design build facility would help fill a gap in one end of town and would serve as a model station for future renovations.
While the facility’s features are typical for a fire station, they aren’t typical of an average building—new construction or not. Common building elements like the foundation and the MEP systems are specifically designed for the needs of fire station equipment and processes. Structure Tone worked together with the architects from Harriman to fit those features into an attractive, functional town facility.
The concrete slab, for instance, is heavily reinforced to support the weight of four fire trucks and their water tanks. The HVAC system comprises a special ventilation system that allows the firefighters to run their daily tests and checks without opening the garage bays—a feature the crews particularly appreciate during the brutal New Hampshire winters.
The mechanical system has some similarly unique features. Most heavy trucks use a compressed air brake system in which the truck must idle before moving to let the pressure build up behind the brakes. Fire trucks, however, must be on the move as soon as they are called to an emergency. To keep them ready to roll at all times, the station’s mechanical room hosts a large commercial air compressor with hoses that plug into each of the trucks. This system pre-pressurizes the air brakes so that when the fire house gets a call, the crew can simply pop off the hoses and go.
While those extra elements added some construction challenges for the team, the biggest hurdle was the weather. The team worked through the mid-winter cold and snow as much as possible but there were still a few days when work had to be halted.