Recently featured in Glass Magazine, Salt Lake City’s Fire Station No. 14 earned LEED Gold certification in April 2020 through the U.S. Green Building Council for its energy-efficient, environmentally responsible design and construction. When it opened in 2018, it was one of the first net-zero-energy (NZE) fire stations in the country, meaning it generates more energy than it consumes.

Energy-efficient thermal performance and condensation resistance, indoor air quality and natural ventilation, daylight and views support projects seeking LEED certification. These attributes also contribute to the physical and mental health and readiness of the firefighters who both live and work in the building. Further contributing to the community’s environmental and economic goals, the building was designed for a lifespan of at least 50 years.

Helping achieve the building’s longevity, sustainability, performance and aesthetic goals, Tubelite Inc.’s aluminum framing systems were thermally improved and finished by Linetec in a durable, Class I clear anodize. Linetec’s no-VOC, eco-friendly anodize finish protects the aluminum material throughout its long lifespan until it is recycled and reused. The durable finish requires minimal maintenance and supports healthy indoor air quality. Demonstrating these beneficial attributes, Linetec’s anodize finishing for aluminum has earned a Declare Label as Living Building Challenge™ (LBC) Red List Free through International Living Future Institute.

Meeting all of Fire Station No. 14’s objectives, Blalock & Partners Architectural Design Studio worked with specialist TCA Architecture + Planning. Zwick Construction led the project’s nearly two-year construction. The two-story, 17,100-square-foot building includes a four-bay garage, dormitory rooms for 12 firefighters, a multipurpose room, a dayroom, an exercise room, a commercial kitchen and a second-floor deck.

Creating the station’s high-performance façade, Tubelite Inc. provided Mollerup Glass Co. with its triple-glazed 400TU Series Therml=Block® curtainwall, as well as its T14000 I/O Series multi-pane storefront, operable windows, side entrance doors and INT45 interior framing systems. For the triple-glazed 400TU Series, Linetec provided dual, thermal polyamide insulating strut between the interior and exterior aluminum framing members to achieve industry-leading U-Factors of 0.21 for thermal transmittance and a frame condensation resistance factor (CRFf) of 84. The curtainwall’s enhanced thermal break is located in the tongue area of the back member.

The triple-glazed insulated glass is positioned to the system’s exterior for enhanced resistance to rainwater. The glass units also were specified with a low-e coating and custom ceramic frit to manage solar heat gain. Reducing unwanted solar heat and condensation, improves comfort, sanitation and air quality inside the station.

“Even in extreme cold climates, Therml=Block products provide superior energy and condensation resistance performance using multiple thermal barriers, while providing structural integrity and aesthetic flexibility,” said Tom Mifflin, Tubelite’s director of marketing. “Our Therml=Block curtainwall offers a fully, thermally broken system engineered to meet or exceed today’s stringent energy codes and NZE designs.”

Salt Lake City’s NZE facilities mandate and “Climate Positive 2040” plan seeks to achieve net-100% renewable electricity by 2030 and to reduce carbon pollution by 80% by 2040. Exemplifying this directive, Station 14 features a solar panel roof array, geothermal heating and cooling, and high-performance building envelope.

With its suite of sustainable, renewable and energy-efficient features, Fire Station 14 is estimated to contribute to a carbon emission reduction of nearly 902,000 pounds of carbon per year. In addition to this significant accomplishment, the project has been honored with numerous awards. These include design awards from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Western Mountain Region and AIA Utah, green building award from the Associated General Contractors (AGC) Utah, Gold design award from Firehouse Station magazine’s, Most Outstanding Green/Sustainable Project from Utah Construction and Design, and Engineering News Record (ENR)‘s national “Best of the Best” Government/Public Building design award for 2020.

“We are honored to receive this national recognition,” said Fire Chief Karl Lieb. “Salt Lake City’s Fire Department takes our responsibility to protect the community seriously. This is what we do every day in responding to incidents and emergencies, and it’s what we’re doing at a systems-level in how we construct and manage buildings, source renewable energy, and support cleaner-fueled vehicles.”

“Salt Lake City is committed to building green, and these… prime opportunities for us to show that commitment,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall. “Particularly with Station No. 14 being on our City’s Westside, which has historically endured worse air quality than the rest of the City, we felt it was important that we get this right. I’m grateful to Chief Lieb for his vision and creativity in making this happen. These certifications are a tremendous accomplishment.”

Salt Lake City Fire Station No. 14; 3800 California Ave., Salt Lake City, UT 84104;

Owner: Salt Lake City Corp.; Salt Lake City;
Lead architect: Blalock & Partners Architectural Design Studio; Salt Lake City;
Architectural consultant: TCA Architecture + Planning; Seattle;
General contractor: Zwick Construction Company, Inc.; Salt Lake City;
Curtainwall, storefront and interior framing systems – glazing contractor: Mollerup Glass Co.; North Salt Lake, Utah;
Curtainwall, storefront and interior framing systems – glass: Northwest Industries, Inc.; Seattle;
Curtainwall, storefront, window, entrance and interior framing systems – manufacturer: Tubelite Inc.; Walker, Michigan;
Curtainwall, storefront, window, entrance and interior framing systems – finishing: Linetec; Wausau, Wisconsin;
Photos: Cache Valley Photographers, courtesy of Tubelite Inc.