Arncliffe Fire Station


NSW Fire Brigades

We are extremely proud of our involvement in the construction of Arncliffe Fire Station, for the NSW Fire Brigades. Completed in 2005 on a site with latent contaminated soil conditions, the station was a true departure from the traditional model used for such infrastructure, where fire stations had been built of brick with no thought to orientation relatve to sun or wind patterns and the key concern being a street frontage with ready access for fire fighting units. Such buildings usually had small, fixed windows, relied on artificial lighting and were difficult and expensive to heat or cool, especially in the harsh Australian summer when the building would be at its busiest; in fact the heat retention properties of brick construction made such a task all the more challenging.

NSW Fire Brigades recognised that due to these considerations as well as the potential for rapid fluctuations in temperature and “all four seasons in one day” they had become overly dependent on mechanical systems to control ambience with associated consumption of large amounts of energy. A new and more environmentally friendly design was required and the “Ecopod” design was chosen. Situated directly under a flight path and immediately adjacent to Sydney Airport, the 28 metre diameter building, housing two fire trucks and staff over two floors, represents a radical departure and a greener paradigm, while retaining traditional engine bays, amenities and communications command centre. The structurally efficient steel cocoon wraps and protects the functional areas within, using the concept of both outer and inner “skins” – the internal work areas remain separated from the roof via a large void acting as a climate buffer against extremes of heat or cold. Passive and active elements work together to provide profound reductions in the energy required to maintain the building and the shell, independent of the bolt-on infrastructure and technology currently used, will remain responsive to future innovations allowing updated building technology to be deployed into the same space in the future.