Exterior front view of Squamish Fire Hall No. 1 at dusk. The metal cladded building is framed the Stawamus Chief behind it.

Squamish Fire Hall No. 1


Squamish, BC

The new Squamish Fire Hall 1 sits on a restricted site on a forested slope near the foot of the spectacular Stawamus Chief in Squamish, British Columbia.

A replacement for the previous fire hall, the new development provides a post-disaster facility that accommodates fire headquarter operations, training functions, and fire suppression operations.

The building includes firefighter sleeping and living areas, administration spaces for fire and emergency services, expanded training and equipment spaces, and an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC)— creating an important hub for emergency response in Squamish, a growing mountain town of approximately 20,000 residents.


Areas of impact

A Firefighter walking down a flight of metal stairs.
Someone biking past the Emergency Operations Centre in Squamish Fire Hall 1. The building embraces its pops of red paint and seemingly metal panelling.

hcma worked closely and creatively with Squamish Fire Rescue, the EOC Manager, and District staff to incorporate additional program areas and functions with very minimal increase to the building area. One of the strategies we implemented was to design fire program spaces that can be quickly and efficiently converted to EOC uses. Adding less than 800 square feet to the base building program, we managed to include all EOC programming spaces, a hose/training tower, and more future provisions.

The new fire hall reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 87% compared to the facility it replaces. This is achieved through design strategies such as entirely electric building systems, air source heat pumps for heating, cooling, and domestic hot water, high performance building envelope, and other active and passive strategies. Noteworthy is the apparatus bay heated to 10°C, which saves a lot of energy compared to a fully heated space.

With greenhouse gas intensity (GHGI) at 1.22 kg CO2e /m2.y, Squamish Fire Hall 1 outperforms the fire hall with the lowest GHGI listed in the Building Benchmark BC database for 2022 (which rings in at 1.69 kg CO2e /m2.y). This further underscores its leadership in sustainable design and is a significant reduction in the District of Squamish's corporate emissions.

Ultimately, Squamish Fire Hall 1 is testament to community resilience and firefighter wellbeing. With speciality decontamination features that follow best practice in firefighter health and safety, this state-of-the-art fire hall and Emergency Operations Centre rises tall – just like the Stawamus Chief behind it.

Three firemen gathered in a modern kitchen within the fire hall.

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