Cincinnati Police Station Goes Net-Zero

Recently, the city of Cincinnati announced the opening of a new green police station. As reported by the Architects Newspaper and, the District Three Police Station is set to become the first LEED platinum and net-zero-energy police station in the country.

Cincinnati-based Emersion Design, in collaboration with Messer Construction, conceived the station as a design/build project. The team was responsible for the architecture, interior design, structural engineering, sustainable consulting and public engagement. The designer used various energy models to test the project’s orientation, massing, fenestration and thermal envelope qualities. A compact building footprint, advanced storm water system and extensive, drought-tolerant landscaping showcases the project’s green qualities to the public. Other sustainable technologies used include a roof covered in photovoltaics and 40 geo-exchange wells.

The solar-powered building is expected to consume less than 50 percent of the energy used by traditionally designed facilities of the same size. Its solar panels can generate 330 kilowatts of energy. LED lighting fixtures and 29 energy zones allow for unused systems to be turned off. The station, built in Cincinnati’s Westwood neighborhood, is about 39,000 square feet and will house about 200 employees.

The white membrane roof actually increases the energy consumption due to the building’s location. However, it helps with the efficiency of the solar panels and reduces the heat island effect, especially considering the large asphalt parking lot.

The project has installed outdoor air delivery monitoring to provide fresh air to police officers and staff members.

About the Author

Rick Laezman

Freelance Writer

Rick Laezman is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer who has been covering renewable power for more than 10 years. He may be reached at

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