Issaquah, WA Firehouse Cuts Energy Use by Almost 80%

November 6, 2015 By Carl Weinschenk

firehouseA fire station in Washington cut its energy use by almost 80 percent, according to Jonathan Heller, the principal and lead mechanical engineer for Ecotope, the company that led the retrofit.

Writing at The Daily Journal of Commerce in Seattle, Heller pointed to the special conditions that make cutting energy use at a fire station especially challenging: They operate 24/7, are essentially open, use energy to provide home-like services to the firefighters and contain equipment that must be kept at the ready, which is another energy expenditure.

A typical station uses about 100 kBtu per square foot per year in energy. Ecotope was able to drive that number to 22 kBtu at the Issaquah Fire Station 72 Eastside Fire and Rescue in Issaquah, WA. Steps taken by the firm included insulation, triple-glazed windows, heat recovery ventilation and radiant slabs.

Energy efficiency of firehouses is an issue on the other side of the nation. The Concord Monitor reports that Hopkinton, NH, is exploring the installation of solar panels on its firehouse. The planning is in the early stages.

2 comments on “Issaquah, WA Firehouse Cuts Energy Use by Almost 80%

  1. It is significant to me that there is no mention of solar in making the impressive improvements except for the side comment on the NH station. This is counter to the seemingly mandatory requirement that all energy improvement stories highlight solar. That hardly works on a 24×7 operation.,

    But, more importantly, thanks for making a bold first step in a move to eliminate the archaic, useless, confusing and annoying use of roman numerals (M and MM) for indicating orders of magnitude for BTU’s and initiating the more consistent use of metric indicators (i.e., kBTU). It is infuriating to most of us to see an article about energy that has both MW for electricity and MMBTU for gas. MM does not make any sense since roman numerals are additive so even if there were some reason to use them, MM would be 2,000 – not 1 million. Why does the gas industry continue to frustrate the rest of the world with this convention?

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