May 23, 2019
Alten Construction recently completed a $16 million seismic improvement for Fire Station No. 5.
Alten Construction began working on the new 21,000-square-foot state-of-the-art fire station in April 2017, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on May 1, 2019 to commemorate its completion. The project included the demolition of the existing building and construction of a new seismically safe three-story fire station with new building and life safety systems, ADA accessibility and other related improvements.
Fifty-seven firefighters will be stationed at the new building, which is the largest fire station in San Francisco and the main hub fire station for San Francisco proper. One of the most unique aspects of the new fire station are the five slide poles — the majority of which run from the dormitory on the third floor down to the apparatus bay 35 feet below.
“When you walk into the apparatus bay, it’s like walking into a cathedral,” said Andrew Nortz, vice president of operations for Alten Construction. “You look up and it’s pretty nerve-wracking to see the slide poles on the third floor. When you get up there, it gives you butterflies just looking down the chase knowing you’re 35 feet up.”
The Department of Public Works completed the design of the project, which incorporates high-quality living quarters for the firefighters, modern and upgraded technology and ventilation and exhaust systems for the apparatus bay.
The core elements of the station include updated living and work spaces, including a commercial-grade kitchen with stainless steel appliances, wolf range tops and hoods, barbecue area, outdoor lounge space, private sleeping quarters and a 1,200-square-foot commercial-quality gym with impact floors, fans and wiring for big-screen televisions.
The apparatus bay, which will house one fire engine and one ladder truck, features a new fuel dispensing system, emission control vacuum system, storm water control system, workshop and storage space.
“Fire stations are always interesting because they have a lot of moving space with an industrial style,” said Nortz. “Our team loves working with the firefighters, and we appreciate everything they do for this area. Firemen and fire chiefs — all of the ranks — tend to just be down-to-earth people and great to work with because they have a personal connection to the project.”
Originally built in 1956, the seismic improvement for Fire Station No. 5 was part of the $420 million Earthquake Safety and Emergency Response (ESER2010) bond work that dedicated $73.2 million to renovate or replace 23 area fire stations. The new facility is designed to allow the station to be fully operational following an earthquake or other major disaster.
The building was designed to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design’s (LEED) Gold certification. The LEED scoring system provides a metric for measuring how sustainable a structure is. LEED-certified buildings are resource efficient, using less water and energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
During construction, fire service for Fire Station No. 5, located at 1301 Turk St. in San Francisco, was uninterrupted with the deployment of apparatus and personnel from nearby Fire Stations 6 and 38.