Fire Station #21


Daylighting creates an enhanced occupant experience at City of Manassas Fire & Rescue Station #21

Samaha Associates, PC designed the new City of Manassas Fire & Rescue Station #21 in Manassas, VA. The 21,000 square foot, four-bay fire station is a multi-use facility for both City fire and rescue personnel and a volunteer rescue squad, with support spaces for both organizations. The first new fire station to open within the city limits in 51 years, the station enables the fire department to meet critical response times for the community. The project exemplifies the City’s ‘Historic Heart, Modern Beat’ motto through the use of traditional masonry detailing and high-performance systems such as the glazings provided by Advanced Glazings Ltd.

To create a comfortable living and working environment that would promote the health and wellbeing of station occupants, Samaha incorporated natural daylight into regularly occupied spaces. The building seamlessly incorporates both vision and daylight glazing to achieve different desired results based on the functionality of the interior spaces. The vision glazing enables passive visual surveillance and views of the surrounding neighborhoods, streets, and landscaping.

In locations of the building where views into or out of the glazing were not necessary, Samaha used Solera® translucent glazing units. The Solera®  daylight glazing was utilized at the top of the front entry tower and the training tower. The daylight units are backlit at night and act as beacons to the surrounding community. During the day, the glazing units provide an even, natural daylight into the training tower. The Solera® daylight glazing was also used in the clerestory of the apparatus bay to create even light that penetrates deep into the apparatus bay. The Solera® daylighting units are engineered to provide near-perfect light diffusion, converting harsh direct beam sunlight into gentle, bright, and clean diffuse daylight, enabling occupants to focus on training and other vital tasks rather than having to combat the stark contrasts between full sunlight and full shade.

To create a high-performance energy efficient building, the project employs insulated low-e vision glazing in the thermal envelope. Daylight glazing results in improved solar heat gain coefficients over that of regular insulated vision glazing units.


Daylight sensors inside the building control the light output throughout the day, ensuring even light levels all day. During daytime hours, the lights inside the building are often on low mode or even off, as sufficient natural light flows through the glazings throughout the building.

Samaha first became aware of Advanced Glazings Ltd. through a continuing education course held at the architects’ office. Advanced Glazings Ltd.’s course, ‘Architectural Daylighting and Managing Glare’ proved to be very relevant to the types of projects in Samaha’s portfolio. Following the course, Samaha noted that they immediately began looking for opportunities to utilize the Solera products in their projects to help improve energy efficiency and task lighting throughout spaces.

Construction of the new station began in the Fall of 2019, construction completed in Spring of 2021, and the ribbon cutting ceremony was held in May of 2021.

Advanced Glazings Ltd. is proud of having worked with Samaha Associates on this important project and to help contribute natural daylighting to the work and living space of emergency personnel at the City of Manassas Fire & Rescue Station #21. We congratulate Samaha Associates and the City of Manassas on this wonderful addition to the community.

Photography Credits: © Samaha Architects

Click here to view more photographs of of the new fire station.