South Metro Fire Rescue – Station No. 20

Providing emergency and prevention services in the Colorado counties of Arapahoe, Douglas, and Jefferson, South Metro Fire Rescue has close to 30 fire stations. Addressing the needs of a growing suburban neighborhood in Highlands Ranch, South Metro Fire Rescue constructed a new ground-up fire station, reducing response times and offering emergency resources for the nearby Backcountry Wilderness Area.

Just across from Mountain Vista High School, South Metro Fire Rescue Station 20 is an 10,000 square foot building, with three engine-bays and a mezzanine, equipment storage, fitness room, offices, living quarters and restrooms, laundry room, decontamination space, a large kitchen with commercial appliances, and a day room area to use for meeting space. With a look inspired by a 100-year-old ranch house, the beautiful red brick building with bright red doors and inviting front and side patios is an aesthetically pleasing addition to the area.

Working with the architecture and engineering design team, 360 Engineering provided mechanical and plumbing engineering design services for this new fire station. Our team specified an energy-efficient Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) HVAC system with a Dedicated Outdoor-Air System (DOAS) for the mechanical portion. The VRF system offers multiple benefits. It is ductless, can heat and cool multiple zones simultaneously, and allows occupants to control the temperature in each space instead of being stuck with a limited number of heating/cooling zones. The system also uses less energy because it allows for heat recovery, extracting heat from zones that require cooling and redirecting it to zones in need of heating. It provides the exact amount of conditioning needed, operating compressors at a lower capacity, and reduces the amount of heat that is “wasted” to the outside compared to a more traditional heat pump system. In the engine bays, there are radiant tube heaters and a vehicle exhaust extraction system.

The plumbing design accommodated the three individual restrooms with showers, a public restroom, drinking fountains with bottle fillers, washing machines for general and decontamination usage, and water and gas lines to the kitchen and outdoor patio grill. In the end, the firefighters have a comfortable home away from home.


Highlands Ranch, Colorado


OZ Architecture


South Metro Fire Rescue