Location: Tierra Amarilla, NM
Client: Rio Arriba County
Year: 2009
Size: 3,150 S.F.

The Tierra Amarilla Volunteer Fire Station features a passive solar heated design with propane fired back-up heating and a generator back-up electrical system. The building is a steel frame structure with steel exterior siding & roofing, interior gypsum board, cement and vinyl composition tile floors. The fire station was located on the site with as little disturbance to the landscape as possible. Facing the building five degrees east of south, large expanses of glazing in the overhead doors and clerestory windows allow maximum solar penetration for heating in winter. High-mass flooring and water filled tanker trucks hold the solar heat from the day and slowly release it at night. A five foot overhang prevents summer solar gain, keeping the building cool in summer months. Two of the three bays have drive-through capacity to aid in quick response times for the Department. A large meeting room can be used for community events. The building was painted fire-engine red as a reference to it’s function and to make it easily visible in emergency conditions. Circular cut-outs in the side walls refer metaphorically to the building’s solar design and relationship with the spherical bodies of the cosmos.