The New Fire Station is under construction – Energy Efficiency has been questioned
Construction for the new Fire Station on Breezy Avenue has begun. The Station, which will be at the Four Corners adjacent to the MVCC driving range, was approved at Town Meeting in March 2013. The contract for the Fire House was accepted from E.F. Wall with contingencies for $679,800, an amount that is well within the $920,000 bond approved by the voters of Greensboro. The new building, which will resemble a Vermont barn, is projected to be complete by March 2014. It will replace the current circa 1900 firehouse in the village and will provide ample room for newer equipment which does not fit in the current space as well as bathroom facilities.
One building issue is being discussed. Current plans are to insulate the building walls and slab floor with fiberglass insulation which meets minimum current energy standards. The Greensboro Town Energy Committee (GTEC) has asked the Town and the Fire Department to consider using foam/fiberglass insulation in the building in lieu of fiberglass and to fully insulate the slab with foam. Foam/Fiberglass insulation is the recommendation of Efficiency Vermont (a Statewide organization which helps communities identify and implement energy savings). Energy efficiency translates to lower operating costs.
The Select Board and the Fire Station Committee is reviewing why the choice was made by the architect for fiberglass insulation vs. foam and is considering the cost vs. performance of the various systems. Although there is bond money available to fund the upgrade to foam/fiberglass, the Select Board and Committee has taken a conservative approach to the construction, and has reiterated the position that bond vote money “shouldn’t just be spent because of what the taxpayers voted”. In contrast, members of the Energy Committee feel foam is far superior in insulation and air sealing over fiberglass and an efficient building will pay dividends in fuel savings for its life. A small savings now could translate into larger expense in the future.
All Greensboro property owners and taxpayers are invited to make comments regarding this insulation issue to the Select Board and Fire Committee via [email protected]. Comments can also be made via “leave a reply” in this article.
I feel the new firehouse would benefit efficiency wise by using the foam insulation.
Since what is under the floor and in the walls is impossible to change later, I think it would NOT be a good idea to save money now by cutting down on the insulation under the concrete slab and in the walls/ceiling(?). To me, the “conservative” approach is to go for the highest R-value recommended by Efficiency Vermont, not the minimum R-value. The new firestation will probably outlive all of us. Let’s do it right.
In my experience, energy conservation savings far outweigh the additional up-front costs. The new firehouse should be built to “Efficiency Vermont” standards, not to the minimum.