Client: Regional District of Nanaimo Location: Nanoose Bay, BC Size: 10,000 sf Budget: $3,000,000 Status: Completed in 2011
Protective / Emergency Services
Nanoose Bay Fire Hall

When this volunteer fire department required a state-of-the-art fire station that would be more structurally resilient, better functioning, more energy efficient and safer for firefighters and staff than their old station, they called on JDa. We answered with a well-designed, sustainable building that meets or exceeds post-disaster building standards—and looks great while doing it. What’s more, the project was completed while firefighters successfully operated out of a temporary fire hall we were able to create on site.

Designed to make a difference

Sustainability, accessibility, and user health and safety were central goals of the project. JDa created a separate, ventilated area for firefighters to turn out gear that has been contaminated by smoke and other materials. A water-based heat pump system greatly boosted the station’s heating and cooling efficiency—in fact, compared to the old building, emissions were reduced by 95%. We also added washrooms for women and disabled people and were able to create a dividable training space that allows multiple groups to train at once.

The 100% volunteer staff benefits from significant functional and safety improvements.


LEED® NC Silver Shadow


Fire Chief Magazine 2013 Station Style Design Award – Notable (Satellite Station)

We built the new station to the far west of the site to give easy access to the pump house at the rear of the building and to make way for lots of parking spaces at the side. This allows the all-volunteer staff to park their vehicles quickly, then rush into the station to gear up and go.

The station was flanked by a park and a public library to the east and west, which meant there was limited glazing permitted on those sides. To compensate, we added multiple windows to the north, south and on the second-storey, allowing light to flood into offices and other interior spaces.

Built to last

In addition to its natural beauty and earthquake resistance, wood is a locally sourced structural material that is familiar to local building trades—allowing for greater efficiencies during construction. Large, solid-mass-timber glulam beams were used for the roof structure along with structural steel. Cedar shiplap clads the station’s administrative side with metal siding covering the apparatus bays.

The project follows a wood-first policy, focusing on incorporating wood as a main element of the design and revealing the structure as the final finish wherever possible. Curved glulam beams were created in bulk, setting the jig just once before cutting the beams—saving considerable time and money.

JDa worked closely with the community to realize its vision of a community fire hall.
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