Phoenix opens new, energy efficient public safety building following 2020 wildfire

Phoenix opens new, energy efficient public safety building following 2020 wildfire

Photo by Jesi B. Photography

The City of Phoenix has opened a new 20,000-square-foot government building designed to help the community cope with disasters like the devastating 2020 Alameda wildfire. The new building houses the city’s administration offices, police station and the fire station which was destroyed in the wildfire along with more than 2,000 homes and businesses.

The city says the public safety building will also serve as a community hub during emergencies like wildfires, storms or other extreme weather events. When designing the building, the City of Phoenix teamed up with Energy Trust of Oregon to identify the most effective ways to save energy.  With Early Design Assistance, Energy Trust helps organizations set energy efficiency goals and identify the strategies to meet them. Some of the energy-efficient design features in the new Phoenix public safety building include:

  • An innovative variable refrigerant flow ductless heating and cooling system that uses significantly less energy by regulating temperatures throughout the building. The system also recovers and uses thermal energy from outgoing air through energy recovery ventilators that would otherwise be wasted.
  • Infrared gas heating in the fire station, which will conserve energy when the station’s bay doors are open. Instead of heating the air, the heating system directly warms objects and surfaces within its line of sight, meaning that even with large doors and windows opening, heat remains concentrated on the people and objects inside the space.
  • Interior and exterior LED lighting, which make the space brighter and safer while saving time and labor replacing bulbs.
  • High-efficiency gas water heaters that last longer and perform better than traditional heaters.

These energy efficiency measures are expected to save the city thousands of dollars each year in energy costs, which can then be used for other city resources.

Since the 2020 wildfires, Energy Trust has been working to help lower costs for Oregon communities as they rebuild. For new commercial construction, Energy Trust can help with building design and energy studies to inform how best to include energy efficiency and resilience in rebuilding plans. Energy Trust then offers cash incentives to help lower the cost of those features and can guide organizations to additional support and funding like the Energy Efficient Wildfire Rebuilding Incentives from the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE).

Energy Trust also offers solar and battery storage, which helps improve community resilience during wildfires and other natural disasters. When power outages occur, solar and battery storage can still provide power to parts of your home.

For more information on Energy Trust’s support for new buildings, call 1.877.467.0930 or email