New York City’s First Green Firehouse Under Construction in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park

This $7 million firehouse in the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn successfully incorporates the interests of multiple parties in operational efficiency and design excellence.

Construction recently began on a $6.8 million, RKT&B-designed firehouse for Engine Company 201 at 5113 Fourth Avenue in Sunset Park. The three-story building features a glass facade and is taking the place of an older, 2-story firehouse structure that was recently razed. The project is one of the first in New York City to be constructed under the Department of Design and Construction’s (“DDC”) Design Excellence Program, which Mayor Bloomberg established back in 2004 .

RKT&B needed to meet the standards of three stakeholders in order to ensure success in the project. The FDNY required decreased response time and operational efficiency, while the DDC sought a space that would become a model for all new firehouses built in New York City. Local residents wanted a civic building with an unmistakeable presence. From the initial renderings, it appears that RKT&B has managed to successfully incorporate all three of these requirements into its design program.

Although the project is not seeking a LEED rating, green features do abound, ranging from dual-flush toilets and low-flow water fixtures to a water drain heat recovery system. Occupancy sensors and an 85 percent-efficient, conventional single boiler will contribute to maximize the firehouse’s energy efficiency. Bamboo flooring will be installed throughout the project’s interiors, and various recycled and reclaimed materials are being used for its structural components. The roof will also be EnergyStar-rated and green standard low-VOC paints, adhesives, and sealants will boost indoor air quality.

We often emphasize how critical it is for architectural design excellence to intersect with performance-driven sustainable buildings, so it’s encouraging to see a high-profile piece of green architecture being used as a template for future Gotham firehouses.

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