Nome Public Safety Building

Location:Nome, AK

Owner:City of Nome

Status:Completed, 2010

Size:15,000 s.f.

This building houses the police and ambulance departments of Nome, AK. Located on the by-pass road on the edge of town, it was designed to survive in the harsh environment, enhance the comfort of occupants and provide a model for energy efficiency. The building was oriented with the prevailing winter winds, and on pilings, to allow wind driven snow to sweep under the building and prevent the structure from thawing the permafrost below. Careful planning of window locations and sizes combined with daylight sensors reduces electricity needed to light the facility, especially in the summer. Built of insulated metal panels the building exterior is easy to maintain; resin wood panels at the entry bring warmth to people using the facility.

The project began with a participatory planning process which brought members of the police, ambulance and fire department, state troopers and citizens of Nome together to determine the building needs. We worked through several design scenarios and helped the City of Nome obtain funding for the first phase of design.

The building was constructed directly by the City of Nome by a superintendent and construction crew hired locally. It was a joy to work directly with these individuals to design a building crafted to the specific skills and strengths of the local work crew. Total construction cost was $7.2 million. Construction was completed in November 2010.