According to a Firehouse Magazine examination of design trends in career fire stations, architects are encouraging firehouses to build their stations with concrete/masonry walls and steel framing systems instead of wood because “the investment in a new public safety facility, whether small town or metropolitan, demands sustainability with an emphasis on long-lasting construction.”

Mary McGrath, an architect based in Oakland, Calif., said fire chiefs are finding that stations built from the 1970s through the 1990s of wood construction “are not lasting like those buildings in the '40s of concrete and masonry.” Additionally, these chiefs understand it is “difficult to raise the funds to replace or repair stations, so emphasizing durability [is important] with the knowledge that they have to last up to 75 years.”

The examination echoes the findings of Build With Strength, a coalition of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, which emphasizes the importance of utilizing durable and resilient materials in construction – not only for safety concerns, but for cost-savings, as well.