Interior shot of the apparatus bay at Vancouver Fire Hall No. 17, featuring textured brick work.

Vancouver Fire Hall No. 17


Vancouver, BC

Vancouver Fire Hall No. 17 is the first fire hall in Canada to earn the Zero Carbon Building (ZCB) design certification, and the first project to be certified in BC. When complete, it will offer a 99.67% reduction in operational carbon emissions compared to the existing Fire Hall 17.

Design Challenge

Vancouver Fire Hall 17 is one of 16 projects to pilot the Canada Green Building Council’s new ZCB standard, and is also pursuing LEED Gold certification, Passive House certification, and Net Zero Energy (as defined by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities).

Areas of impact

Fire truck leaving Fire Hall No. 17. The linear silver cladding of the building reflects the light and sky.

Our Response

To achieve these low carbon and low energy performance targets, design strategies include an optimized orientation to benefit from local climate conditions, an airtight envelope, efficient air and water heat recovery systems, and a low carbon mechanical system that utilizes a geo-exchange field with ground source heat pumps.

As Vancouver’s second largest training fire hall, the new facility will have four drive-through apparatus bays, a full-size hose/training tower, a training yard, and accommodation for two full crews. Because the building is designed as a post-disaster facility, it will also be fitted with IT, radio, SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition), and traffic control equipment.

The new low carbon building will be situated on Knight Street at 55th Avenue, and will also serve as a post-disaster citywide emergency hub in the event of an information technology network breakdown. It’s designed that so any firefighter in the building can get to a fire truck in 60 seconds.

The project was made possible through a collaborative team effort including hcma (architects and sustainability consultants), the City of Vancouver, Integral Group (mechanical and electrical), Morrison Hershfield (energy modeling) and RJC Engineers (envelope and structural).

Read more on the project's sustainable design strategies in this case study from the Zero Emission Building Exchange (ZEBx).

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