Merit in Clay Masonry

Kiel Police Station 


After nearly seven years of planning, re-envisioning, and evaluating various sites, the Architectural Program identified a Campus Concept as the best available option, constructing the new 6,000 SF Police Station adjacent to the Historic 100-year old City Hall.  The tall, well-detailed exterior façade of the City Hall became the inspiration for the “little sister” Police Station.  Utilizing similar design elements and understanding period detailing helped shape the form and image.  Colors and finish selections of the brick, brick mould, stone, and trim work were all historically based.

The Architect selected concrete block as the substrate for all load bearing perimeter and interior walls.  In the Police garage, this material could be easily finished, providing a durable surface that can cope with the harshness of the vehicle wash down area.  At the perimeter walls, concrete block is the backbone to the brick exterior of the double-wythe construction providing the strength and long-life typically demanded of civic buildings.  At refined interior spaces, block is easily transformed to a fine finish with furring and gypsum board or plaster.

During Schematic Design the Police Chief decided additional safety and security for Officers was deemed important at both the Conference / Incident Command Room and the Squad Room.  The Architect recommended that the concrete block interior wythe should run continuous behind the lower spandrel glass casement windows in these rooms while the upper transoms would remain as clear glass to allow daylight to enter into these spaces.

Painted exposed concrete block, special security systems, and shatterproof vision panels were used throughout the Detention and Interview Rooms to provide vandal resistance and increased security.

Environmentally conscious energy options were evaluated from the beginning of the Design Process.  It was determined a renewable energy geothermal system was able to provide significant energy savings.  The selection of geothermal was made easier because of the commitment of the City of Kiel Common Council to wanting an environmentally responsible building that could be used as an example to the community. 

The geothermal system consists of 24 vertical bores buried to a depth of 90’ around the building.  The entire building is heated and cooled with this earth-based system, including radiant floor heating in the garage area. No natural gas or air-cooled refrigeration equipment is used. Geothermal technology is perfectly suited to buildings like this with concrete block and brick walls where the high thermal mass of the block and brick is able to slow the heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer.  This results in a more even temperature distribution in the space that greatly enhances occupant comfort. 

The building has had a full year of operation and the results are impressive with an energy reduction of 37% compared to an average building with a conventional boiler and air conditioning.  These savings equate to a CO2 emissions reduction of 49 metric tons per year.

The Kiel Police Station Geothermal System Design received a Focus on Energy Incentive under the 2013 Renewable Energy Competitive Program [RECIP].  Tamara Sondgeroth, Portfolio Director at Focus on Energy, wrote: “Congratulations on developing a cost effective project that will result in renewable energy generated and will drive market transformation.”

Architect: Hameister Architects

WMA Producer/Supplier: County Materials Corporation, Lycon, Mortar Technologies