Slated for completion in August 2012, the Wolf Trap Fire Station is two things: First, it’s the newest public building owned by the County of Fairfax, Virginia, to qualify for LEED certification. And second, it’s the next notch in the green-building belt of Milestone Construction Services. “When finished, we believe the station will score around 45 points on the LEED scale to achieve a Gold rating,” explains Kathy Hetrick, Milestone’s project manager for the Wolf Trap station. We spoke with Hetrick about the project.
What are the station’s major green features?
Kathy Hetrick: The 14,000-square-foot facility will have four apparatus bays to house station fire trucks. Other building features include five bunkrooms, … a full kitchen, laundry facilities, and an emergency generator and 3,000-gallon fuel tank in case of municipal power shortages.
Why go green with this project?
Hetrick: The decision to go green with the fire station is part of a larger trend. With the federal government now requiring that all of their new buildings be at least LEED Silver certified, many municipalities like Fairfax County are following suit.
What will make the Wolf Trap station sustainable?
Hetrick: The Wolf Trap project boasts several major sustainable features. For instance, building materials including concrete, steel, acoustical ceiling tiles, and masonry contain significant recycled content. Low-[VOC materials] also figure prominently in the station’s construction, such as the use of low-VOC adhesives in millwork and flooring. Similarly, low-VOC paints and coatings will be used throughout the building. Carpet and VCT [vinyl-composite-tile] flooring with low-VOC content will also be featured.
Lighting will have a distinctive sustainable edge. Automated light sensors will turn off lights in unoccupied station quarters. Meanwhile, extensive window space will take full advantage of daylight to reduce lighting costs. The windows will feature a strict performance requirement. This means that technically advanced glass panes will absorb less heat in the summer while preventing interior heat loss in the winter.
What challenges have you faced in the project’s construction?
Hetrick: It has been necessary, at times, to educate subcontractors about LEED-certification requirements. This has meant occasionally guiding them through the necessary paperwork and selection of qualified materials for their work. Fortunately, since most of the subcontractors share our enthusiasm for sustainable construction, they are more than willing to learn the specifics of the LEED process.
Milestone Construction has a long history of working with Design Glazing Concepts on base building and interior renovation projects. They have provided information on the recycled content and regional materials values of their supplied products on this project. Milestone values its relationship with exemplary subcontractors such as them.