Being Accountable

  Comment Banner Image Aug 2009
 

The sector consistently works to ensure we are accountable for our use of all resources to maximise the effectiveness of our work to make communities safer, this includes giving consideration to and acknowledging our environmental and social responsibilities.

 

MFS green building initiatives a world class effort

 

An unexpected public accolade received at a recent international fire station design conference in the US has seen the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service recognised as a world leader in energy efficient fire station design, with industry professionals nicknaming the MFS standard design the "eco-station".

The most recent example of an MFS "eco-station", officially known as the Two-Appliance Fire Station Design, can be found at the newly commissioned MFS Paradise Fire Station. The $3.9 million solar-powered facility was recently opened by Premier Mike Rann and Emergency Services Minister Michael Wright.

New MFS Fire Station at Paradise

The Paradise Fire Station is 'state-of-the-art' and has been designed with energy conservation in mind, with many green building initiatives incorporated, including solar panels, a solar-powered hot water system and underground water tanks to harvest water that is used for irrigation and toilets.

The station has been built using sustainable building materials, which along with the quality of the design will increase the asset life by 20% from 40 to 50 years.

This is the latest step in a wider ongoing initiative to increase the energy efficiency of metropolitan fire stations. The MFS are committed to environmental sustainability and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

It was back in 2002 when the MFS first started considering how they could play their part in sustaining the environment and now seven years later the environmentally friendly features found at the Paradise Fire Station are standard features in all new MFS fire stations.

The Two-Appliance Fire Station Design is part of a long-term and forward thinking 'green technology' program implemented by the MFS to ensure they comply with the State Government's policy to reduce energy consumption by 15% of present levels by 2010 and 25% by 2014.

Over the next two years the MFS will focus on water harvesting and water recycling, with a major project planned for Adelaide Station on Wakefield Street. Water will be harvested and used in training drills, to clean vehicles and in toilets, saving significant volumes of potable mains water, and directly benefiting the wider community.

The "eco-station" design has attracted national and international interest from our emergency service counterparts. The MFS, along with the Victorian Country Fire Authority,who have incorporated many of the MFS examples into their fire station designs, will be sharing their energy efficient learnings at an AFAC conference in September.

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