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Vancouver’s newest fire hall to go green

The city says the new fire hall will be the first "Passive House" fire hall in Canada. City of Vancouver

Vancouver is preparing to demolish and rebuild Fire Hall 17 in the city’s southeast.

And while the new hall will still house traditionally red fire engines, from an environmental standpoint the new building will be green.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson says the new hall will be high tech, while adhering to zero-carbon building standards, fitting in with the city’s Greenest City 2020 action plan.

“This is going to be a city-wide emergency hub. A post-disaster IT network communications hub, which is obviously essential if we’re dealing with a major earthquake,” Robertson said.

“This will be a really critical resource in keeping the community connected. That requires more energy than the usual fire hall, 25 per cent more energy than the usual.”

Construction for the new hall is being budgeted at $19.9 million, $5 million of which will come in the form of grants and loans from the federal government and Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).

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The structure, which will meet rigorous “Passive House” energy saving criteria, will reduce CO2 emissions by 33 tonnes per year, according to the FCM.

Robertson said meeting those goals is worth the extra cost.

“The base building cost will be $16 million, just over $16 million. Nineteen-point-nine million dollars is the cost of being passive, and obviously we’ll save a lot more than that over the life-cycle of the building,” he said.

The new hall is slated to be completed in 2019.

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