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OPN Architects
Client Type
Project Type
Services Provided
  • Grading & Erosion Control
  • Infiltration Design
  • Permeable Paver Design
  • Permitting
  • Site Design
  • Utility Design
Project Manager

Permeable Pavers & Bioretention Contribute to LEED Platinum Certification

A strong desire to reduce fire department response time and proactively prepare for anticipated population growth on the southeast side of Madison, Wisconsin prompted the construction of Fire Station 14.

As the Civil Engineer for the project, Snyder & Associates provided a variety of services including site design, stormwater management and infiltration design, grading and erosion control, utility design, and permeable paver design.

Central to the project is the City of Madison’s requirement for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification at a silver rating or higher. Led by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED is a program that focuses on environmental and social sustainability principles to transform how buildings and communities are designed, built, and operated.

A contributing factor to LEED accreditation on this project is the use of permeable pavers in three separate parking areas and two bioretention areas with native plantings. Together, these stormwater management facilities are expected to achieve over 90 percent predevelopment infiltration volumes, helping the project garner LEED platinum certification.

Along the edge of each parking lot, permeable pavers cover over 4,300 square feet of combined space. The pavers are supported on 18 inches of stone to promote stormwater infiltration. Beyond the pavers, the bioretention areas cover 2,000 square feet of combined space. A two-foot layer of engineered soil comprised of compost and sand on top of another two-foot layer of rock promotes the filtration of stormwater runoff before it infiltrates into the native soil below. Promoting stormwater infiltration along with the use of permeable pavers and bioretention areas will help improve water quality and replenish underground water reservoirs.

Located within a light industrial area, the project centered on the rehabilitation and redevelopment of an old greenhouse site that had been vacant for years. To protect wetlands and other sensitive environmental areas east of the project site, a variety of erosion control methods including silt fence, berms, construction staging, and temporary seeding were implemented.

The new fire station provides 20,000 square feet of space to meet the City’s evolving needs. The new facility features living, training, and support spaces, including a large community room and smaller meeting areas for public use. The incorporation of open green space will accommodate future fire department training needs and provide the city with room to expand the facility if needed.