The Osseo Fire Department contacted Cedar Corporation, a regional architect based out of Menomonie, WI, with several goals in mind for the design and construction of a state-of-the-art fire station. Cedar Corporation worked directly with the department to develop a needs analysis for the new station’s requirements and to determine site restrictions. The final analysis named five key goals, which included low maintenance, pleasing aesthetics, the ability for future growth, minimum cost, and optimal spatial organization.
After Cedar Corporation completed the schematics, they worked in conjunction with Olympic Builders General, of Holmen, WI, to develop a plan and project budget estimate. Throughout this process, it became clear that concrete masonry manufactured by County Materials was the ideal solution to meet all the desired requirements.
First, the department was seeking a low maintenance option. Concrete masonry is recognized in the construction industry as a durable, low maintenance building material. Manufactured by County Materials to meet industry standards and using abundant natural resources, concrete masonry is a resilient product that resists fire, wear-and-tear, and other undesirable effects of which alternative construction materials can succumb.
Pleasing aesthetics was an important goal because of the department’s location near a busy intersection and the desire to exemplify community pride. A majority of the façade is made up of Splitface Decorative Concrete Masonry Units in the Tobacco Road color. The splitface surface offers a rugged and natural appearance on the building, while several corners of cast stone provide a contrasting accent to break up the building’s massing. Also, the solid cast stone helps frame the letters spelling out the community’s name.
Concrete masonry offered many cost-saving measures. Because of its lower maintenance requirements and inherent thermal attributes, the operational costs of the building over the long run will be drastically reduced. Lastly, masonry’s versatility contributed towards maximizing spatial organization and allowing for future expansion.