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July 2018

Two new fire stations to self-generate energy

More than 208,800 kWh per year

  • Energy

Fire in a terminal? Or a bird strike? Then the fire brigade must respond instantly. As of October 2018, the Brussels Airport fire brigade will do so from 2 new extremely energy-efficient stations.

The three current stations date from the 1950s. So the outdated infrastructure is not exactly ecological. With the two new stations, Brussels Airport is adopting a new approach. The two buildings will be extremely energy-efficient. This means that they will self-generate most of the energy they consume. Due to that partial self-sufficiency, the stations’ energy bills will be especially low.

Low energy infrastructure

How do the buildings produce energy? With solar panels on the roof, which together generate about 208,800 kWh annually. To give you an idea: that’s enough energy to meet the needs of 60 families. Sanitary water is heated by solar boilers and indoor areas by heat pumps (which can cool as well). So, the heating is standalone: because it’s not connected to our heating network nor to a natural gas pipeline. And what about cooling? We’re reducing cooling needs by facing the large windows to the shady north, so that active cooling is not necessary.

Large spaces, gates that open frequently, and the heavy duty ventilation system − insulating a fire station is not easy.

Francis Verleyen,
Technician Fire Prevention

Both stations are equipped with LED lighting. The rainwater is collected in a 230 m3 underground tank. The water then gets a second life as cleaning, fire-fighting and toilet water. This water is also used for the water salute of new airlines.

Fire brigade on the spot immediately

The new fire stations will be located on the east and west of the airport grounds: between runways 25R and 25L. This means that the trucks are immediately on the scene for an intervention. Did you know that the law prescribes a response time? In the event of a plane crash, the fire brigade must be there within 3 minutes; and within 5 minutes in the event of an incident in the terminal. Thanks to the stations’ excellent operating base, we will certainly meet those requirements.

Wondering what the stations look like? Watch the video!

Large stations with modern infrastructure

Another difference with the old stations: the available space. The West Station occupies no less than 4,632 m2 and the East Station 1,413 m2. Ideal for accommodating the airport fleet of 30 fire trucks − including the latest crash tenders and foam robots. The stations also include living spaces such as a kitchen, dining room and fitness room. Moreover, there are rooms for training, for the coordination of emergency medical assistance, and for the fire prevention service.

A glimpse of life at the airport fire brigade

The Brussels Airport fire brigade consists of 145 firefighters. They are divided into teams to provide 24/7 coverage. To stay sharp, they do interventions in practice planes. Every 2 years, all involved services from the airport and the Flemish Brabant province take part in a full-scale emergency drill.

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