News & Insights

Vancouver Fire Hall No. 17: A Technical Marvel in Sustainable Infrastructure

Vancouver Fire Hall No. 17: A Technical Marvel in Sustainable Infrastructure

Insights & Perspectives
Vancouver Fire Hall #17 shortly before opening

Vancouver Fire Hall No. 17 is a precedent-setting and ambitious addition to the global sustainability agenda.

It is the first fire hall to have earned Zero Carbon Building and LEED Gold certifications and will become the first certified Passive House fire hall in North AmericaThis architectural marvel not only serves as a crucial emergency response center but also sets a new standard for sustainable building practices, harnessing cutting-edge technology and meticulous design to minimize environmental impact. Read on to learn how this project is setting a new standard for municipal buildings in Canada.

Performance That Matters

The City of Vancouver mandates higher performance standards for city-owned buildings. Through rigorous engineering and design, the fire hall achieves a remarkable 92% reduction in energy demand compared with the building it replaces. This is achieved through a combination of factors, including optimized orientation to leverage local climate conditions, an airtight envelope to minimize heat loss, and efficient air and water heat recovery systems that maximize energy conservation. This valuable new community asset exemplifies innovation and progress in pursuit of our collective future, in addition to serving as a case study for other higher-performance buildings. 

Zero Carbon, Maximum Impact

A key achievement of Fire Hall No. 17 is its status as the first fire hall in North America to pursue Passive House certification, a rigorous standard that prioritizes ultra-low energy consumption and minimal carbon emissions. The building's fully electric design eliminates the use of fossil fuels entirely, resulting in a staggering 99.7% reduction in operational carbon emissions. This achievement not only demonstrates Vancouver's leadership in combating climate change but also sets a precedent for future construction projects seeking to minimize their environmental footprint.

Trusted Expertise

Leveraging Introba’s deep green engineering design ethos, our team of mechanical, plumbing, fire protection, electrical, technology and lighting design experts took an active leadership role in championing the Passive House principles not just in the design of the system but also assisting the owner, architect, general contractor and subcontracting team in adapting to what will be the new norm of designing and constructing buildings.

Innovative Solutions for a Complex Building

From its state-of-the-art geo-exchange field, which provides 100% heating and cooling over the building's life cycle, to its innovative daylighting strategies and lighting systems that enhance occupant well-being while reducing energy consumption, Fire Hall No. 17 showcases myriad technical innovations aimed at maximizing sustainability without compromising functionality. The building's design, which includes four drive-through apparatus bays, a full-size hose/training tower, and accommodation for two full crews, demonstrates how cutting-edge technology can be seamlessly integrated into the fabric of everyday infrastructure to create a more resilient and sustainable building.


A Blueprint for the Future

As cities around the world grapple with the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change, Fire Hall No. 17 stands as inspiration. Its success serves as a blueprint for future construction projects seeking to achieve similar levels of energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. By embracing innovative technologies and pushing the boundaries of what's possible, cities can pave the way towards a more sustainable future in their infrastructure portfolios.


This project is a runner-up for our 2023 Introba Awards initiative in the Unlocking Potential category, rewarding individuals and teams that show creative courage.

The Introba Awards, a competition juried by external industry professionals, seek to discover, recognize, and reward the very best work done by Introba employees. Our awards categories are inspired by our Living Systems approach, helping us ideate and tackle complex design challenges and improve the performance of our business.

Learn more about Fire Hall No. 17 in the project profile below. 


Related News