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Posted by on Feb 18, 2017 in Firehouse Reconstruction, Remodeling Of Interior |

Fire Industry Conferences in 2017 – Firehouse Design

For anyone looking to learn about the current trends of firehouse design and architecture, there are two grand-scale conference opportunities in 2017. Firehouse’s Station Design Conference will be held in Fort Worth, Texas in May (it was in Anaheim, California last year). Not to be upstaged, F.I.E.R.O. is hosting what it calls the ‘premier fire station design conference in the country’. The 2017 Fire Station Design Symposium will be in late September in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Firehouse’s Station Design Conference promotes itself as covering the entire scope of building a brand-new fire station. These details include the complete bidding and construction process, construction site costs, selecting a design team, and incorporating the newest technology and equipment. There are so many considerations that don’t get a ton of thought until they become a problem. The 2017 conference will discuss unique troublesome issues such as zoning complications, dealing with city architectural review boards, planning with tree preservation in mind, height or bulk restrictions or building around natural elements such as wetlands, streams or steep hills. Of course, keeping within your budget is a major topic that will be addressed.

Topics that probably never dawned on the fire house architects of yesteryear are also on the agenda. Making your station ‘green’ and efficient, and also how to create gender-friendly locker/shower rooms and bunkrooms. Time will also be devoted to fire fighter safety, protection and training. Sponsors and exhibitors will of course also grace the facility, along with plenty of time to network and brainstorm.

The F.I.E.R.O. (which stands for Fire Industry Equipment Research Organization) Fire Station Design Symposium has held an annual symposium since 2010. It specifically focuses on not only fire stations and training facilities planning to be built but for those already in existence. This event has a schedule full of speakers, demos and exhibitions but one of the big highlights is the annual Design Awards. The goal of these awards is to showcase public safety buildings that not only serve the community but also advance what the personnel who work there can do. Six judges with fire fighting backgrounds and architectural degrees determine the contest winners.

F.I.E.R.O. is a non-profit fire service agency. All income from the symposium is channeled into the following year’s event. All attendees receive a convenient USB thumbdrive with any digital handouts the presenters share.

Between these two events, 2017 looks to be a year of education, sharing, camaraderie and architectural advances in the fire house and fire training facilities department.

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Posted by on Oct 20, 2016 in Firehouse Reconstruction, Remodeling Of Interior |

DIY Firehouse Restoration Tips

Restoring a firehouse is a major operation because you will need to re-paint the damaged walls, replace or repair the roof, clean the ceilings, etc. While you can do it yourself, it is important to understand that there is a process which must be followed, and it entails lots of work. But if you have the energy to restore a fire station, you can give the building a whole new look. Many DIYers successfully tackle their own firehouse restoration projects. These DIY firehouse restoration tips will help you restore any firehouse and make it look exquisite.

Paint the walls

The first step is to paint the walls. Finding suitable paints for any structure can be challenging and using the wrong paint will only damage the building, your health and the environment. Moisture is a common issue in most old buildings and it has been believed for years that the sure fire way to combat it is to waterproof the structure through resistant coatings. Spray painter paints apartment buildings fast and efficiently. Be sure to mask and tape the surfaces you need to protect. Warn the neighbors and provide them information on where to park their cars.

Clean the woodwork

The second thing you need to do is clean the woodwork. You can do what professionals do and refinish the woodwork. Realize that water is not bad for wood provided that you don’t immerse it or use too  much. If the woodwork gets too wet, you risk making the glues used on the veneers and joints softer. There’s no secret to cleaning the woodwork. Dip a nice soft cloth in the soapy water and wipe it. Be sure to have a few cloths to change to a clean one as it becomes dirty. Once you’re satisfied with how clean the surface is, apply a high quality paste wax as per the instructions of the manufacturer.

Clean the walls and ceilings

Cleaning the walls and ceilings is an easy task, but, much like painting, it can get a bit strenuous. First, wipe the surface of the ceiling and the walls with the sponge or a soft cloth and use firm strokes. Next, dip the rags in warm water and rinse the ceiling and the walls. Repeat this with the other parts until everything has been properly cleaned. This step my need to be repeated more than once depending on the condition of the firehouse. Match the kind of detergent you use to the type of stain that’s on the ceiling whenever possible. Don’t over-wash your ceilings and walls as seepage of water may occur into the drywall or baseboard.

Repair an old roof

Roofing is hard work. The good thing is that it is doable but you can’t be scared of heights and you must be physically fit. Before committing to this project, climb up the roof. If you can’t comfortably walk around, hire a pro. But if you can walk around comfortably, you are good to go. Start by checking if the roof has small holes. If you spot small holes, patch them using a specially designed primer. If you have a broken or a torn shingle, remove the damaged shingle from the roof, then pull the nails out and take out the damaged shingle. Cut a new shingle to length, slip it into position and fasten it using roofing nails.

Replace old/broken windows

First, remove the glass by extracting the putty that holds it in place. No matter the size of the windowpane, remember to wear gloves when taking out the frame to avoid injuries. Once you have removed it, set down flat on a table, workbench, or even the floor and take out the broken glass. Remove any remaining putty, using a heat gun as necessary to prevent damage to the wood. Next, apply putty around the frame, insert the new windowpane into the frame and press it firmly.  Apply the putty and smooth it using a putty knife. When the putty is dry, you can paint it right away.

Conclusion

Most people think that restoring a firehouse is a difficult undertaking—lined with countless pitfalls and headaches. This is far from the truth. By following these simple DIY steps, you can easily restore a fire station and make it look exquisite.

 

Here’s a nice story about a firehouse restoration.

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Posted by on Sep 19, 2016 in Firehouse Reconstruction |

5 Uses For a Restored Firehouse

Firehouses have been in existence as early as the 1640’s, and during this period firehouse were just big tools which were used as storage points for firefighting equipment. Since the electric sirens were not present back then, firefighters had to use bells, rattles and drums to send out messages and warnings in case there was a fire breakout. They also had towers that they could look to see if there was any trouble.  However, a lot has changed since then. One thing which has completely changed is the overall style of the fire house. After the end of the Revolutionary war, improved and different firehouse styles were constructed.

Most of these old firehouses are still in existence to date. Due to the manner in which they were constructed, a majority of the old firehouses are exceedingly sturdy. However, they are not used because of two main reasons; either these firehouses are too big to cool and heat or are too small to store all the modern equipment and computers.  Some of these firehouses are restored and used as museums or alternatively are sold to the public in what is known as adaptive reuse.

Adaptive reuse is when a historical or old building is used for a different purpose other than what it was engineered for. Adaptive reuse is a critical component of land conservation and it also plays a key role in community restoration. With that said, here are 5 uses for a restored firehouse.

  Museums

museumThere are several examples of adaptive reuse of firehouses and also great examples of how these firehouses have been rehabilitated to create something extraordinarily amazing. One of the most common uses of a restored firehouse is fire museums. Fire museums are used to not only celebrate but also preserve the firefighting heritage of a given region. In North America, there are more than 300 museums which range from spare rooms in the basement of firehouses to state of the art first class institutions. All in all, fire museums are institutions that serve to educate, inform and inspire.


Homes and Residential Properties

refernishedApart from being restored into museums, firehouses can be converted into homes. Depending on the property owner, the firehouse can retain some of the details that were present previously or alternatively it can undergo some serious renovation into something completely new. Restored firehouses are on high demand in the real estate market. Most firehouses are bought by real estate investors and converted into something truly magnificent. After the renovation is complete, they are sold for a fortune with some going for more than 6 million dollars.


Restaurants

old-12Restaurants can be created from the existing structure. This is very possible because most of the firehouses have large kitchens already, which in turn makes it exceedingly easy to convert them into restaurants. Depending on the size of the firehouse, different types of restaurants can be created. One of the most common firehouse restaurant in the United States is the Old Engine 12 restaurant which is located in Washington DC.

Commercial Properties

Old firehouses can also be converted into commercial establishment including retail establishments and offices. Irrespective as to whether it is only one company occupying the firehouse, or multiple companies, it is still a great reuse of an old firehouse. Some of the most common uses of firehouses as commercial properties include truck garages, company offices, beauty salons and beauty parlors.

Health Care Facilities

comercialFurthermore, firehouses have also be converted into health facilities such as veterinary facilities and health clinics. Fire stations can be used as the treatment and check-up centers for animals and also human beings. Converting a fire station into a clinic is a great way to show how an under-utilized public resource can be converted into something useful for the community. The great thing about converting fire stations into clinics is that almost every city has at least one fire station, thus it is a great way to bring health care services to the locals.

Despite the fact that old fire stations can be used for different purposes, museums and real estate still remain the most common uses of old fire stations. Converting an old fire station into a museum is a great way to preserve and celebrate fire culture while turning it into a commercial property is an ideal way to generate revenue from an untapped public resource.

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Posted by on Aug 4, 2016 in Firehouse Reconstruction, Remodeling Of Interior |

Rebuilding a Firehouse

To create a self-sustaining community whose inhabitants have everything they need available and provided by the city council for building and constructing, a city should have a certain number of buildings intended for individual services. Hospitals, Law Courts, Police stations and every other similar institution with a precise intention needs to exist. Firehouse is one of those important buildings that every city should have, and this was also common for cities older than two centuries ago.


Starting from scratch.

Every city has a building that dates back to 19th, 18th and even 17th century. Some of those buildings were damaged during the years of service by weather, people or natural disasters. If one of those building is a firehouse, there is still a chance to restore the previous condition of this important building. Being that no city can function without one, Firehouses are extremely important to the safety of a community. If such building is damaged beyond repair, they are usually destroyed after a new one is constructed.

Building-Construction-Companies-Dubai-UAE-Yellow-Pages-DirectoryRestoring the former glory.

If a fire station is damaged but still available for reconstruction, architects and construction companies do their best to restore the condition of a building to make it functional again. Being that a firehouse has a specific interior as well as exterior look, special design is needed in reconstructing such buildings. Although the outside look of such buildings is not relevant to its function, it presents the institution and firemen should be presented with a dignified image, being that they save lives of other by risking their own. To ensure that it presents them in the right manner, it should be modified in such way that it is representable and decent. Concerning the interior, there is a bit more work to do than small making small adjustments to improve visually.

Reconstructing the interior.

For a firehouse to become usable again, serious construction work is needed. For the garage to store fire trucks it needs large area connected with a vertical pole that provides firemen a quick access. Such need for a quick access is needed when emergency calls are reported. Beside a garage, sleeping quarters are equally important to a firehouse. If this part is damaged and the roof collapsed, or doors aren’t functional renovation is needed. Without sleeping quarters, a firehouse can’t function, where constant presence of firemen is needed to achieve full attentiveness to city needs. Training room, although not important as garage and sleeping quarters, is crucial to firemen’s effectiveness. If there are daily training that covers the basic drill of everyday actions of a firefighter, they become more prepared for every situation.


The firefighter services are not needed every day but when the problem occurs they should be quick to act and restoring firehouse functionality does that. Investing in equipment such as firehouses, water pumps also increase their readiness. It is advised to create proper conditions for firefighters to do their job and save lives.

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