Public Buildings

Fire Station Thal

Sulzberg-Thal, Austria

View from Southeast 1 | View from Southeast
This pioneering building shows that contrary to popular opinion, wood as a construction material can be put to use for fire stations as well
Design: Volunteer fire brigades are not only needed for emergencies, but also constitute an important asset in the social life of rural areas. The location of the fire station signifies this understanding, as it is situated prominently at the entrance of the municipality while fully integrated in its built environment, with transparent areas on all sides. The building also features the municipal maintenance yard and depot as well as the municipal archive. The radio and control room overlooks the vehicle depot, courtyard, and crew entrance.

Wood: For the facade, vertical Silver fir sidings were used, lending the building a unified appearance that suits its location. The fire station was realized as a low-energy building with a solid timber construction. Only the exterior walls of the vehicle depot, in direct contact with soil, were made with reinforced concrete.

Energy: Due to the different requirements of the rooms, the heating concept of the building was split into two segments. The lower level, housing the vehicle depot, municipal maintenance yard, and storage rooms, is not actively heated; the isolation of the walls and the waste heat of the wood chip heating plant suffice to bring it to the required temperature around the year. The upper level is heated.
View from Northwest 2 | View from Northwest
View from East 3 | View from East
Training room 4 | Training room
Basic information
Year of Completion |  2010
Investor |  Municipality of Sulzberg; Immobilienverwaltungs GmbH & CO KEG Sulzberg-Thal (AT)
Architecture |  Dietrich Untertrifaller Architekten, Bregenz (AT)
Structural Engineering |  Wood: Merz Kley Partner, Dornbirn (AT); concrete: Mader & Flatz, Bregenz (AT)
Construction Time |  14 months
Number of floors |  3
Plot size |  1 850 m²
Gross floor area |  765 m²
Construction Costs (netto) |  1 647 Euro / m² GFA (ÖNORM B 1801-1 construction cost groups 1-6 )
Awards |  ZV Bauherrenpreis (Omicron); Holzbaupreis Salzburg der Fachhochschule, Salzburg (Selection)
Photography |  Pictures 1-4: Bruno Klomfar, Wien (AT)

Technical aspects
Concept |  Upper level: solid timber construction with untreated Silver fir; lower level: solid timber for exterior walls
Woodworking |  Zimmerer Nenning, Hittisau (AT)
Origin of Timber, Certification |  Austria (Lower Bregenz Forest), mostly from sustainably managed forests
Forestry Value Chain |  All commissioned companies are from the Alpine region
Energy Efficiency Standard |  Low-energy house
Energy Systems |  Room and water heating: solid fuels (assorted biomass) and district heating; high-output counter-current heat exchanger (70%)
Energy Consumption  |  Heated building segment: 30,8 kWh/m²a; unheated building segment (garage, yard, storage): 13,33 kWh/m²a (heating energy demand)
U-Value Wall | Roof | Floor | Windows (W/(m²K)) |  0,24 (heated area), 0,58 (unheated area)

Circular Economy Cost Saving Energy Efficiency

Floor Plan (Ground Floor) Floor Plan (Ground Floor) Floor Plan (First Floor) Floor Plan (First Floor) Cross Section Cross Section