Thornton Tomasetti is the structural engineer for a new, state-of-the-art firehouse and training center now under construction in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York. Renderings courtesy Studio Gang.
Ground was broken July 28 for a new 21,000-square-foot firehouse and training facility for the New York City Fire Department’s Rescue Company 2. Thornton Tomasetti is providing structural engineering services to Chicago-based architect Studio Gang for the building in Brooklyn’s Brownsville neighborhood. Founded in 1925, Rescue Company 2 is one of five elite units in New York City that handle a variety of emergency situations, including fires. The building’s design features innovative double-use spaces, such as a vertical light and air shaft that can be used as a training tower with windows, doors and balconies that recreate typical city conditions. The large interior space will allow firefighters to practice rescue scenarios ranging from building collapses, high-angle rescues, hazardous materials incidents, water rescues and trench and confined space rescues.
Large windows will let in abundant daylight and allow for natural ventilation, while a green roof will help reduce storm water runoff.
The precast concrete structure features insulated panel exterior walls and floor framing comprising precast beams, double-tees and hollow-core plank. Two cast-in-place concrete cores provide resistance to seismic loads while permitting substantial perimeter wall openings for the large windows and doors. The chamfered frames within the exterior portals are composed of terra-cotta cladding backed by steel framework. A permanent retaining wall system around the site’s perimeter uniquely uses precast piles and lagging as the base for a garden wall feature.
It will be the first firehouse in New York to have a drive-through concourse on the ground floor, with large garage doors at both ends of the building.
The project follows Mayor Bill de Blasio’s OneNYC goal of reducing citywide greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050. The design includes a solar water-heating system, all LED lighting with motion sensors and a green roof and permeable pavement to help mitigate storm water runoff. It is scheduled for completion in summer 2018.
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