Serving the community goes hand in hand with serving the environment at this police station in Cincinnati. The Ohio city is home to the world’s first freestanding net-zero energy police station that’s also the first of its kind to earn LEED Platinum certification. Designed by local firm emersion DESIGN, the Cincinnati District 3 Police Station Headquarters is a beautiful facility that not only produces as much energy as it consumes, but also beautifies the community with public art.
Unveiled in July 2015 in the city’s Westwood neighborhood, the 39,000-square-foot District 3 Police Station Headquarters houses nearly 200 employees. Forty geothermal wells and a 330-kW solar array power the energy-efficient building, which consumes half the power used by traditionally built facilities of the same size. Since the building consumes less energy than it generates—the energy use intensity is 28 kBtu per square foot—the building is expected to save the city a significant amount of taxpayer money over the years.
The net-zero energy building was also designed with considerable community input, from the new station’s location to the selection of public art. As part of the state’s 1 Percent Art Program, the police station includes an LED art installation that tells the story of the district’s 14 neighborhoods. Generous amounts of glazing clad the station and create a sense of transparency with the community. The landscaping around the building incorporates native plantings and includes beautiful stormwater management design, such as rainwater gardens and a stone ‘river’ bioswale.