Ada County Paramedic 38 Star, Idaho

The Ada Co. Paramedic Station 38 was constructed to a high environmental standard and was awarded LEED Gold Certification. The building layout was arranged with a central core for service oriented operations; these spaces do not have a need for views and are less important for daylighting as they are not occupied for long periods of time. The vehicle bay was placed at the north of the building to provide better solar orientation and daylighting to heavily occupied rooms. These rooms include the reporting room, day room and kitchen. The kitchen is open to the day room and the space has storefront windows on the south and east walls, and high northern clerestory windows for daylighting. Porches on the east and south sides of the dayroom are carefully designed to maximize solar heat gain and light in the winter and minimize it in the summer.

The mechanical arrangement utilizes an efficient split system that gives each room its own control over its heating and cooling needs. The vehicle bay uses an evaporative cooler for cooling and radiant gas heaters for heating. Operable windows provide building ventilation, including an operable clerestory window in the day room that is controlled by the mechanical system for hot air evacuation. Hot water will be supplied by a closed loop rooftop solar collector with heat exchanger.

The solar hot water system and the ductless variable refrigerant flow HVAC system, combined with a very high performance building envelope (R44 walls), is expected to provide energy use 42% less than code while providing individual thermostat control. Linoleum and recycled-content carpet tile floors, low-VOC paints and recycled-content insulation and ceiling tiles complete a sustainable palette of finishes.

The site is designed to minimize heat island effect and maximize water conservation. Vegetation, swales, and a pervious concrete infiltration system are used for stormwater management. Vegetation and landscaping are drought tolerant with drip irrigation. Instead of grass, the swales and lawn areas have unmown fescue which has the appearance of long grass, but can be left unmown as it matures to an agreeable height. The unmown fescue also provides the dense root matrix needed to retain and filter water on site. Trees were carefully placed to shade impervious surfaces and reduce heat island effect.