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Aluminum heats up fire station plans

Modern Builders Inc., Janesville, Iowa, installed approximately 18,000 square feet of Petersen Aluminum Corp.'s PAC-CLAD material in three different profiles on the Iowa City Fire Station 4 in Iowa City, Iowa. Additionally, PAC-3000 AP Wall Panels were used to link the various levels of the roof.

Located on a high-visibility site, the LEED Gold-certified, 11,300-square-foot facility is comprised of the apparatus bay and the service/living area. The project features 13,815 square feet of 24-gauge Tite-Loc Panels in curved, tapered and straight profiles, along with 2,520 square feet of 0.032-aluminum PAC-750 Soffit Panels; and 1,600 square feet of PAC-3000 AP Aluminum Plate Panels. The Tite-Loc Panels used to roof the apparatus bay were curved on-site.

Will Downing, project architect from Iowa City-based Rohrbach Associates PC, says the greatest design challenge was adapting the concept to the site. The east wall of the apparatus bay is engaged into the hill to serve as part of the retaining wall structure, Downing explains, to lessen the impact of the facility on the adjacent protected slope and natural land shared with neighboring residential property.

"The lower service/living area is placed in front of the taller apparatus bay to provide a more gradual vertical appearance," Downing says.

The fire station is expected to play a role in promoting development in the area.

"The city and the fire department both wanted a stand-out design to be seen by people as they enter from the northeast," Downing says. "The new station definitely provides a nice anchor for the community."