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  1. #1
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    Default Steel building for Fire Station, need input.

    I ran a search on steel buildings as Fire Stations and came up dry, so please excuse me if this has been discussed here before.
    My company is currently looking into a building addition to our station and steel is in the running. Our present station is from 1946 with a 1972 addition, all masonry construction (stone, block, brick). We are looking into our options for a new Engine room addition and a connecting section to tie into the exsisting building. At this time we have not decided if the new Engine room will have a second story to it or not, several factors are involved in that part of the decision.
    My question to this forum is; Does anyone have any input based on first hand expieriences with steel fire stations. Good or bad, all info is welcome. We would be looking at buildings in the mid-high end of the steel market, with a masonry base wall of between 4 and 8 feet high. The planned Engine room is 4 bays wide, double deep with a drive through type floor plan approx. 80' x 100'.
    Do you operate from a steel station?
    How is the build quality?
    How old is your station and how is it holding up over time?
    Any problems?, regrets?, things that you would change if done over?
    Does anyone have a 2 story steel building? We don't have any in the area to check out first hand.
    Thank you for any and all input.


  2. #2
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    When our new station goes out for bid, it will be steel. I would have rather seen masonry, but the architect swears that steel is cheaper, although I find it hard to believe........ Sorry i can't be of much help.........

  3. #3
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    There have been four steel buildings built in our county, none have second floors over the "bay" but all have a second floor over the offices. The buildings are hot in the bay area (North Florida) I like the room without obstructions, all buildings are less than 5 years old so can't say much about longevity. We are trying to come up with a polebarn for a station sounds like you are looking at a more pricey building. All of the buildings are 60ft deep "drive through"
    Good luck they are popular around here.
    Stay Safe ~ The Dragon Still Bites!

  4. #4
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    Do your search using "engineered metal buildings" and put in the area that you are from and you should get some hits. Here is a link to one that I found, don't really know anything about this company, however.

    http://ironbuilt.com/

    These types of buildings are fairly common for fire stations. They are relatively inexpensive and quick to build. Many of the manufacturers will offer complete design build programs for you. Obviously, you want to get someone legit so do some research on the company and you will want the design done by a professional engineer in your state according to whatever your local building code is.

    These types of buildings probably don't lend themselves to having a second floor, although if you get one with a higher roof you could build a second floor inside, but cost may be an issue. They also tend to get expensive if you want to do an odd layout, they work best as a rectangular building. You can connect them to existing structures, but make sure the designer accounts for roof loading considering the existing structure (snow drift loads, etc.).

    You can gingerbread these up as much or as little as you want. I have seen these buildings done with several courses of split face masonry block with the metal flashing above and it looks pretty nice. Of course, anything like that adds cost.

    I had priced out a 4 bay station with 2 additional bays with a couple of offices, lounge, restrooms, radio room, storage, HVAC, etc that was 120' x 50' (no drive through) that was about $400,000 complete a few years ago. A decent guess on a fairly nice building complete would be around $60 to $70 per square foot depending on where you are.

    Good luck.
    Thomas Anthony, PE
    Structures Specialist PA-TF1 & PA-ST1
    Paramedic / Rescue Tech North Huntington Twp EMS
    The artist formerly known as Captain 10-2

    No, I am not a water rescue technician, but I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

  5. #5
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    If I were you I would look into getting prices on something other than steel just to compare them. I own a machining and welding shop with 40 employees and go through about 50,000 pounds of steel plate a week. This is what I can tell you, steel prices have almost doubled since Dec. of '03 and supply is terrible. Yes, I know with Charley down in Florida that building materials are up also but don't limit yourself to one style of building. Any salesman that tells you steel is cheaper now might be trying to pull a fast one on you. Just my 2 cents.

    PS: All of my buildings are steel ( 43,700 total square feet) with the oldest section from '78. They do last a long time with very little maintenance.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber mtnfireguy's Avatar
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    We completed one steel building fire station last year and have another one in progress right now. As far a longevity, the former fire dept I was with had one steel building fire station that was built in the 70's, was remodeled in the early 90's as is still serving well.

    As for price... we just priced an addition to a steel building that houses classrooms and steel came in cheaper than wood.
    Buckle Up, Slow Down, Arrive Alive
    "Everybody Goes Home"

    IACOJ 2003

  7. #7
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    We just completed construction of our new (all steel) fire station. It holds 6 engines plus a large kitchen, bathroom and all purpose room. We used grants to pay for the materials and the members of the department completed the construction ourselves. Total cost to the fire district after outfitting, carpet, furniture, stove, refridgerator, etc. was around $14,000.

    So far we have had high winds, heavy rains and no problems so far. One of the other departments in our fire district also completed an engine bay attachment. Also all steel. Both stations are alot more comfortable then what we did have and everyone is happy so far.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for all the input everyone. We are looking at all types of construction, we just don't have much first hand expierience with steel buildings. I asked for info here to get input from the end users instead of relying entirely on manufacturers sales pitches.(they seem to be a little biased ).
    Again, thanks for the help so far and keep it comming.

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    Make sure you check out the "In Quarters" section on the front page of FH for some pictures of nicely detailed steel halls.

    We have used a steel building for 25 years with no problem. It is fully insulated and heated for our Canadian Mountain winters, and it stays perfectly cool in the summer. It has a large I-beam support structure, and is very strong (we practise on the roof all the time).

    When we were planning our new hall (in the community industrial park), we were originally looking at a new larger and fancier steel building. Now the district has decided to give us some prime land right as you enter the village, so we will be the first building you see as you approach our high-valued resort community. In keeping with the high property values, the plan has changed to wood and stone to match the local architecture (with sprinklers of course).

    The new plan is very nice by comparison, so I'm not going to complain, but the new steel structure would have been just fine.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

  10. #10

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    www.iconbuildings.com - You can get all your specifications for your here online.

  11. #11

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    so from understanding your problem, this site might help you. www.iconbuildings.com

  12. #12

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    Default Steel Buildings

    I don't know how much your can afford to go. But with the new regulations from NFPA and Homeland security. Id becareful about steel buildings. Start thinking of next 50 years or more of your department what it's going to need and the personnel and equipment your going possibly have. Think of the futhure of you department. Not the next 5 to 10yrs.

  13. #13
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    heres another site for a company that builds steel buildings. This link will bring your right to there fire station section of there site with information on it for you.
    http://www.mortonbuildings.com/OurBu...re/Fire_a.shtm

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