The University of Iowa

Volga Fire Station Expansion Engineering & Design

Volga Firestation Expansion Rendering
Academic Year 
2019-2020
College/Department 
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Project Partner 

As part of their Senior Design Capstone course, Civil & Environmental Engineering students created designs for a building expansion for the fire station in Volga, Iowa.

The Volga Fire Station is in need for an expansion to accommodate additional space for multiple reasons, but especially because of inadequate space for all the operations and equipment of the station.  The current fleet of firefighting vehicles in the station takes up most of the space inside, but the space is also the staging area for the EMS vehicle and equipment. The vehicles are staged inside the station with the most used vehicles in front and the other vehicles stacked behind them.  Different types of emergency vehicles that are used for different situations may be positioned behind vehicles that may be for a different purpose. For example, if there was a brush fire, the EMS vehicle would have to be moved to get to the necessary equipment. This leads to inefficiency that wastes time in responding to an emergency. Additionally, the existing narrow doors are a very tight fit for some of the wider vehicles that the facility accommodates.

The firefighting personal protective equipment stations are positioned in between the vehicles. Due to the joint operations happening at the station with the limited space, the EMS has a very narrow area next to their truck to hold their essential equipment. The station is also where these teams hold meetings. During flood events this building is the only building in the area that stays above water, so this is the emergency berthing area to flood victims. Due to the number of vehicles in the building, they must be brought outside to accommodate the people during these events and there is no room at the station to house the logistics for these events.

The city would also like to have an office space for the city clerk. Lastly, the garage that houses the city snowplow dump truck has become unfit for storage area due to the serviceability of the concrete floor that has cracked and began to settle. City officials would like an area for this vehicle with an area for the mechanic equipment for this vehicle.

The engineering team was tasked with designing a building expansion to provide extra space for Fire Department and EMS needs, new space for the city dump truck and maintenance equipment, new space for the City Clerk’s office, space for flood disaster relief equipment and supplies, and space for large meetings. All of this needed to be designed with flood concerns in mind, keeping all the separate departments from disturbing the others, and trying to balance meeting everyone’s needs with an efficient and economical design. The final deliverables include the design specification for the building expansion as well as cost estimates.