FIREHOUSE 2020 Station Design Awards

For the last seven years, Firehouse magazine has hosted the Firehouse Station Design Awards. The annual showcase of fire and emergency service facilities is the largest of its kind and focuses on drawing attention to the latest trends and advances in public safety design. Since its inaugural season, participation in the awards program has continued to grow, and this year was no exception. With a 37% increase in entries this year, it is clear that fire chiefs and municipal leaders are investing their time, and their budgets, on designing and constructing quality facilities for their first responders.

There were 74 entries into the seven categories comprising the 2020 Station Design Awards, with submissions coming from throughout the United States and Canada. The six-member judging panel, consisting of two Fire Chiefs, a Deputy Fire Chief, two Architects, and one Architect-turned-Firefighter, were tasked with selecting their top three choices in each category. Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards were given for facilities exhibiting operational excellence and outstanding design. Though not pre-established evaluation criteria, top finishers in every category featured designated decontamination areas, interior and exterior training areas, and a general focus on the physical and mental health of personnel.

BRW is pleased to announce that this year’s panel recognized five of our fire stations:


Richardson Fire Station No. 01 | Galveston Fire Station No. 1
Stations exceeding 15,000 SF that are staffed by full-time fire and emergency personnel are categorized as Career 1 stations. BRW finished “one-two” in this category with Richardson Fire Station No. 01 taking Gold and Galveston Fire Station No. 1 taking Silver. The judges were particularly impressed with Richardson’s well-appointed private sleeping areas and Galveston’s preparedness towards keeping their firefighters safe and ready to respond in the event of a natural disaster.


Pearland Fire Station No. 1
Pearland Fire Station No. 1received the Bronze award in the hotly contested category for stations under 15,000 SF staffed by full-time fire and emergency personnel. Pearland was noted for its sophisticated handling of “Hot”/”Transition”/”Cold” zones that includes positive pressure airlocks and air purification systems. The design supports processes that safeguard living spaces from being infiltrated by carcinogens. During the current pandemic, the system has the added benefit of protecting firefighters from exposure and the spread of COVID-19.


Travis County ESD 6 Lake Travis Fire Rescue Station No. 606
A Satellite station serves as neither a headquarters nor the main office for its department. The Bronze award in this category went to Travis County ESD 6 Lake Travis Fire Rescue Station No. 606. This rural station caught the attention of the judges for its multi-tasking lobby that includes space for a walk-in clinic while providing a security and privacy buffer to the station’s operational and residential areas.


Harris County ESD 7 Spring Fire Station 74
This category includes stations that are staffed entirely by volunteer crew or a combination of paid and non-paid fire and emergency personnel. Harris County ESD 7 Spring Fire Station 74 took home the gold in this category. The judges appreciated the way the station pays tribute to the legacy and traditions of firefighting in a modern facility built to perform for the next 50-75 years. The judges also noted the abundance of natural light and its importance to firefighter wellness.

F.I.E.R.O. 2020 Fire Station Awards

BRW also brought home three awards from the Fire Industry Education Resource Organization’s (F.I.E.R.O.) annual Fire Station Design Awards Program. The program recognizes excellence in the design and construction of stations and related emergency facilities with the purpose of encouraging civic pride and continued investment in these very special structures.

The Design Awards Jury consists of six members who have first-hand experience in fire service or fire station design and construction. The award program is a companion to the annual Fire Station Design Symposium, which was canceled this year due to COVID-19 concerns. The symposium may not have happened, but that didn’t stop them from recognizing BRW’s outstanding work in Fire Station Design.


Richardson Fire Station No. 01
Richardson Fire Station No. 01 received the top honor for excellence in all aspects of planning and design, including site plan, floor plans, innovation, and architectural image. The Jury’s decision must be unanimous for a project to receive the Honor Award.


Richardson Fire Station No. 03 | Galveston Fire Station No. 1
Richardson Fire Station No. 03 and Galveston Fire Station No. 1 both received Merit Awards for their representation of outstanding planning and design, their architectural image in the context of their communities, and for their innovation.

Congratulations to our Civic team for their broad recognition at the 2020 Firehouse Station Design Awards and the F.I.E.R.O. 2020 Fire Station Awards.