Here’s a list of recent topics we’ve presented at  national conferences, such as the Station Style Design Conference and the FIERO Conference, and at  regional conferences:  Firehouse Expo, the NYS Association of Fire Chiefs, NYS Association of Fire Districts, and the NYS Association of Career Fire Chiefs.

The Design Program – The Most Important Step in Creating Your New Fire Station

  • Learn to use the design program to thoroughly define your needs with techniques specific to fire stations.   With a written description, room diagrams, spreadsheet, and preliminary construction budget, you will significantly increase the quality of your design and minimize the chance of saying “I wish we had thought of that.”

Construction Documents Through Punch List:  How to Control the Process for a Design/Bid/Build Project

  • This presentation provides the participant with an overview understanding of how to control the outcome of a construction project, including how a careful set of drawings and specifications can protect the project, how to maximize the number of bidders, and how to control the contractor, and how to stay on time and on budget.

The Design and Construction of Your Fire Station – From an Idea to a Completed Building

  • This program expands on the previous topic (Construction Documents) to cover the entire process.  Participants will learn what steps to follow from first deciding they want a new or renovated fire station to moving in.  Each step of the process will be illustrated with sample documents and photos.  A thorough understanding of the process will help save money and result in the best possible building.

Site Location and Response Time (with Dr. Charles Jennings)

  • When considering a building project it is essential to evaluate your response resources and capabilities relative to community demand.  For example, is the population changing? Are there new businesses in town? Learn how to evaluate the capability of your existing stations to be modified to meet current and new demands and to determine the most appropriate location(s) for fire station(s) before moving ahead with your project.

Your Old Fire Station – Should You Renovate or Knock It Down?

  • Participants will learn how to forecast their future building and site needs.  They will learn how to determine if the existing building and site can be modified to meet the needs, and whether it is better to renovate it, knock it down and rebuild, or move to a new site.

The Bond Vote – Maximizing Your Chances for Success

  • Failing to get voter approval can be the end of your project.   A bond referendum is like any election.  You do not need a mandate, only to win by at least one vote.  Learn how to increase your chances of success, using methods that have been developed over 20 years.  This seminar covers the bond as a way to fund your project, setting a budget, educating the community, and organizing for a vote.

Energy Efficiency

We have been committed to energy efficient building since the 1970’s when Robert Mitchell Solar Designs, Inc., was founded. Some of our presentations and articles include the following:

The Energy Efficient Fire Station

  • This presentation explains how to achieve an energy efficient fire station and will provide clear steps to do this.  Participants will learn the fundamentals of energy conservation to reduce heat loss, and to provide heating and cooling at high efficiency.  You will learn value engineering basics as they apply to choosing what energy savings measures are most cost effective through easily understood explanations and through case studies.

The Green Fire Station

  • Learn how your building can contribute to added costs or cost savings over time through a discussion of insulation, HVAC efficiency, ventilation, lighting, windows & doors, and wisely choosing energy sources.


Geothermal Pumps Reduce Station Heating, Cooling Costs. Fire Chief Magazine.

The Radical Reduction of Energy Usage in a 100 Year Old Farm House, Fifth National Conference of the Passive Solar Division of the American Solar Energy Association.

The Use of Concrete Blocks Directly Under a Concrete Slab as a Heat Storage System in a Passive Solar Heated Building, Fifth National Conference of the Passive Solar Division of the American Solar Energy Association.

Technical presentation given at the Annual Meeting of the Passive Division of the American Solar Energy Society.

Numerous presentations and full day seminars were given during the 1980’s under the sponsorship of the United States Department of Energy, The New York State (and other states) Energy Office, the National Concrete Masonry Association, and others.