Environmentally-friendly design of District 3 uniting Cincinnati through sustainability
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - "Most people don't realize that the District 3 Police Station is one of the most sustainable buildings in the country and the most sustainable police station in the country," said Chad Edwards, the principal, sustainability consultant, and community facilitator of Emersion Design.
While the last District 3 station was over 100 years old, the new District 3 is the first LEED platinum and net zero energy station in the United States. District 3 has some of the energy efficiencies you would expect: including recycling stations, LED overhead lighting, windows to bring in natural light, motion sensors, and over 1000 solar modules.
Edwards explained, "Right now, the calculation is working out that about 6 and 1/2 years is the tipping point is the payback time for the solar panels, so taxpayers won't be paying for utility costs for the rest of the life of the building which is pretty amazing considering it's designed to be a 75 to 100 year facility."
It also has features you might not expect, like carpet made from recycled pop bottles, a handicap door opener powered by officers physically opening the door, and a geothermal system under the parking lot.
"All of those tips and tricks begin to help squeeze every watt out of this facility, so at the end of the day were using less energy per square foot than any other police station across the country," said Edwards.
The sustainability efforts here at District 3 encompass not just a concern for the environment and energy efficiency, but also have to involve safety and dealing with storm water.
"The Lick Run Watershed is one of the top five offenders in our nation, this Cincinnati Police district station sits at the top of that watershed, so any drop of rain water that we can keep on this site helps with that issue down below," said Edwards.
Thought even went into planting vegetation that can withstand drought or flooding and installing pillars outside of the station that represent 14 neighborhoods the station serves while also protecting the building from attacks. Through the combination of environmentally-friendly designs and symbols of the community, the sustainability of District 3 is bringing people together.
Edwards explained, "The sustainability features, the net zero energy...all of these are working in concert to set the stage for what is possible for the City of Cincinnati."
"Whether you know it's a highly efficient building or not or the fact that it produces as much energy as it consumes , it's still just a really great building to work in," said Jamie Accurso, the facilities manager for the City of Cincinnati.