West Belconnen Ambulance and Fire & Rescue Station, Charnwoood, ACT

role Architecture, Interior Design value $12 million area 2,000m² completed date October 2013

The West Belconnen Ambulance and Fire & Rescue station is the first delivered in a four phased major capital works strategy as part of the Emergency Services Agency (ESA Station Upgrade and Relocation Program. Implementation of the strategy will improve emergency services coverage in the ACT as the city expands and the population grows. The new co-located Ambulance and Fire & Rescue station in Charnwood is the first station designed and built in the ACT since the 1990s.

Co-locating both services on one site fosters operational synergies and has provided a robust, purpose built facility for the ACT Ambulance Service and ACT Fire & Rescue to cohesively respond to and manage emergency incidents, as well as delivering greater value for the Territory’s budget. The design concept for the co-located station was developed following extensive user, union and Government stakeholder engagement and community consultation, importantly this ensured that the new facility would operate functionally and efficiently for both services. The new station includes shared facilities such as a fitness room and the emergency vehicle wash bay; while each service retains separate operational and administrative areas. The environmentally friendly building utilises rainwater harvesting, hydronic in-slab heating and cooling, PV and solar power supply and other energy saving technology. This new facility will serve as the benchmark for future facilities in the ACT, and probably across the rest of Australia.

peckvonhartel provided full design services from the initial concept design stage, including the preparation of massing studies to assist in the site selection process and the compilation of a comprehensive architectural functional design brief and room data sheets. This meticulous and ‘client’ focused approach was welcomed by the ESA and helped mitigate project risks. This was integral to the delivery of a bespoke and operational successful station which has been enthusiastically received by the firefighters and paramedics who work there.  peckvonhartel also provided interior design services for the new station, as well as peer review of construction documentation during the building phase.