Vancouver Fire Hall No. 17

  • Location

    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.

“This project is a response to the urgency of the climate crisis. It shows that even large, complex facilities can lead the way in reducing our industry’s carbon footprint, while still improving the public service they provide. It’s testament to the City of Vancouver’s forward-thinking vision, and an example of how effective we can be as an industry when we collaborate from the earliest stages of a project.”

Darryl Condon, Managing Partner at hcma.

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).


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).

Design Process

This community facility is a leading example of the City of Vancouver’s climate commitments, showing that we can make near zero-emissions buildings the new normal, while enhancing occupant comfort, and reducing energy and water consumption costs.

It’s on track to receive Passive House certification and has pushed the envelope in multiple ways, including generating its own renewable energy with solar photovoltaic panels on the building’s roof.

Danica Djurkovic, Director of Facilities Planning and Development at the City of Vancouver

Open Assets

File Size

47 kb

PLACES manifesto

hcma's principles for shaping public architecture

The guide we use to enrich the communities, businesses, and people.

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We are dedicated to the notion that public architecture can strengthen and enrich the communities, businesses, and people it serves. Our PLACES manifesto illustrates the principles we use to support this.

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