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Part Three: Skokie Police Station is 'Green' All Over

From rain cistern to heat-reflective roof, new station goes for 'gold' efficiencies.

Editor's note: This is part three of the Skokie Police Station Preview. 

The dark blue appear to being going green, in an environmental kind of way.

The new Skokie police station at 7300 Niles Center Road is being touted as cost efficient. The building, which is currently half completed, is on track to receive gold status from the U.S. Green Building Council in certifying for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), according to Skokie police department commander Michael Pechter.

Pechter said the department is going to "pass with flying colors."

"LEED is the nationally accepted benchmark for green buildings," he said. "You can't just have one or two green things to get gold — the entire building is measured to receive gold status."

Almost every room has lots of natural light coming through the ceilings and tall windows.

"Even on a gloomy day you're going to get enough natural light to work," Pechter said. "And all of the rooms have sensors that can detect how much light is in the room."

Depending on how much natural light is coming in a room, the sensors will turn on or off the lights accordingly.

"This is a big facility," Pechter said. "By keeping our electricity usage minimal we're going to save in the long run."

Yet conserving electricity is just a portion of how the department plans to save.

One of the main visual attractions inside is the large courtyard near the entrance of the lobby. Featured in the middle is a rain cistern, which is a large receptacle for holding rainwater.

"All the rainwater is going to be directed toward the cistern," Pechter said, "which will later be used to water the 6 ½ acres outside."

Even the roof uses energy-saving techniques as it features white reflective material that stays cooler because less sunlight is absorbed.

"We did everything in our power and visited all the different [new] police stations to see what they did wrong and how we could conserve more energy," Pechter said. "And I can say confidently that we improved on a lot of it."

Quick hits:

  •  The new firing range will allow officers to drive a squad car through two double sized doors and shoot targets as they get out of their vehicle. 
  •  The previous police station only had two interrogation and interview rooms; the new building will have four interview rooms and three interrogation rooms.
  •  Police will be able to view all interrogations and interviews from remote TV's throughout the building. 
  •  There will be no security glass separating citizens from officers at the lobby desk.
  •  All ventilation will be located underneath the floor.
  • The land and building was purchased for about $6 million - out of about $31 million for the entire construction cost.
  •  Each tile on the floor weighs roughly 43 pounds. 
  •  Officers will have electrical outlets inside their lockers.
  •  Skokie received $2 million in grants to fund the development of the new facility. Funding sources included the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation Grant, and Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Electric Energy Efficiency Grant.
Jacob Nelson August 02, 2010 at 02:13 PM
Wow, that's awesome. Are most new police stations being built with this gone-green attitude?

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