"The existing fire station and visitor’s information center on this barrier island had been built below sea level and was greatly impacted by storm surges from several hurricanes, leaving area residents without adequate emergency services. The County saw the need for the replacement facility should be elevated out of the surge zone, well above the flood plain. In addition to a 3-bay fire station and a visitor’s information center, the County decided to add a new community room that could be used for community meetings, safety training, and organizing emergency response when required. A helipad on the fire station’s roof allows for airborne services in case the coastal highway becomes inaccessible.
Because of its two different uses, the new building features a public zone along the highway, where the visitor’s center welcomes people to the beach community. Behind it, on the north side, is the private working zone, where the fire station and emergency services are located. The materials in the project were chosen for their durability and relationship to the coastal environment, and the facility has been certified LEED Silver by the USGBC."
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