Vancouver’s new carbon-zero firehall marks a first for Canada

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      The first carbon-zero firehall in Canada has opened in South Vancouver, and it looks just as futuristic as its climate-conscious design would suggest. 

      A release from the City of Vancouver notes that Firehall 17 was constructed to a zero-emission standard, having received official LEED Gold certification and achieved net-zero energy under the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ definition.

      The distinction is, in part, to the large array of solar panels topping the building’s flat roof, capping off an asymmetrical design that is reminiscent of Edmonton’s Stanley A. Milner Library, or Tesla’s Cybertruck (we mean that positively).

      “The new Firehall 17 is a leading example of the City of Vancouver’s innovative approach to meeting climate commitments while investing in our city and providing the services Vancouverites depend on,” Mayor Ken Sim says in the release. “It is a demonstration [that] we can make near zero-emissions buildings the new normal, while also helping to reduce energy and water consumption costs.”

      Mitigating climate change by creating carbon-zero buildings is definitely a step in the right direction in regards to stopping—er, at least slowing down—an eventual climate catastrophe, but Firehall 17 is thinking one step further. Because while the firehall will be utilized as a training site for Vancouver Fire Rescue Services, it will also become a communications hub in the event of a disaster—climate-caused or otherwise.

      “This state-of-the-art facility will ensure the City of Vancouver is resilient to potential disasters,” says Karen Fry, fire chief and general manager of Vancouver Fire Rescue Services, in the release. “The new Firehall 17 is part of Vancouver Fire Rescue Services’ long-term firehall plan and will meet service needs for the next few decades.”

      If you’d like to get your eyes on the new firehall before having to corral there after the Big One hits, you can find it at 7070 Knight Street.