Sustainable Public Safety

Colorado River Fire Rescue Station No. 64

New Castle, CO


Despite a country-wide economic recession, the Colorado River Fire Protection District needed a new fire headquarters. With a site selected and preliminary engineering complete, they were ready for an architectural partner who could design a station that would seamlessly fit into the local landscape, prioritize sustainable design solutions and be able to accommodate future district expansion. Experienced with local and regional geographic and climate challenges and regional architectural influences, the District found their ideal partner in CR.


Coming in under budget, the Colorado River Fire Protection District’s new Station No. 64 is a leader in sustainably-designed fire stations, successfully serving outer lying areas of the district with shorter response times. Designed with several Training by Design elements that support rappelling, ladder training and confined space training, firefighters are enabled to reinforce tactical skills on a regular basis.

Featuring vernacular architectural design rooted in the local community and landscape, the design incorporated native stone and landscaping, rusted corrugated metal roofing and rough timber framing elements. The pre-selected triangular-shaped site presented challenges, with sloping grades of 60 feet from top to bottom. The design solution used the building’s orientation to maximize solar exposure and retain the hillside for efficient program organization.

High-tech green features reduce the building’s carbon footprint and pay back in operational savings over time. A solar-energy system producing half of the building’s electric needs reduces electricity bills by 60% to 75%, ultimately paying for the system in about 20 years. The station’s geo-exchange heating and cooling system reduces natural gas and electricity use by 32%, paying for itself within nine years. Other smart design solutions included daylighting to improve the indoor environment and minimize energy usage, photo sensors and timers to reduce electric consumption and water conservation measures to conserve 7,000 to 8,000 gallons of water each year.


  • Architecture
  • Interior Design
  • MEP Engineering
  • Sustainable Design

We aimed for a 50-year building, and probably built a 70-year building.

Brit McLin, Fire Chief