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November 1, 2011

Norman fire station earns new gold certification for being green

NORMAN — An open space flooded with light, a sparkly quartz compound countertop in a spacious kitchen, and a family-size wooden table are the first things that greet the firefighters in their second home at Norman fire station No. 8, and it’s green, too.

The station recently received notification that it has received LEED gold certification, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, an internationally recognized green building certification system through U.S. Green Building Council.

“We’re the first station in the state of Oklahoma to receive any LEED certification, so we received gold right off the back,” Norman Deputy Fire Chief Jim Bailey said. “Our station 9 will also seek LEED certification.”

After a public safety sales tax passed in May 2008 to bank the funds for two new fire stations, it was quickly determined by the City of Norman that the new buildings would be built to be energy sufficient.

The City used LEED as a way to verify that the new fire stations would be built using sustainable strategies. Station No. 9, due to begin construction in December on Alameda Street, will be a larger facility but will also seek LEED certification.

The City hired Kirkpatrick Architecture Studio firm from Denton, Texas, to build its green stations based on LEED’s performance categories: site selection and treatment, water efficiency, energy use, materials selected and the indoor environmental quality.

Bailey said the City hired Kirkpatrick Architecture because they had previous experience in building LEED certified fire stations. It was a natural fit, he said, and one that paid off by earning them the second-highest certification level for station No. 8.

The building features a variety of small and large energy efficient features, he said, such as drought resistant landscaping, automatic lighting, motion sensor lighting, solar tube lighting, highly insulated walls, and easy maintenance floors and countertops.

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