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Fire station gets ‘green’ award

Evanston’s new Fire Station #5, located at 2830 Central St., has achieved Gold Level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification from the United States Green Building Council.

Evanston’s new Fire Station #5, located at 2830 Central St., has achieved Gold Level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification from the United States Green Building Council.

Originally planned for silver level status, the project received enough points to qualify for gold level certification. LEED is a total building approach to environmental sustainability which is a part of the City of Evanston’s strategic plan.

It’s the city’s first facility built to LEED guidelines.

Last December the City Council adopted a Green Building Ordinance that requires all new municipal and commercial construction over 10,000 square feet achieve LEED silver certification.

"Achieving gold level certification on this project, which was designed and built prior to the city’s new green building requirements were adopted, demonstrates the city’s commitment to building green," Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said. "We are very proud to have our first LEED certified building exceed the city’s new requirement and the first fire station in Illinois to achieve LEED gold.”

“The LEED process is much more than the engineering and architectural design,” said Fire and Life Safety Services Chief Alan Berkowsky. “It started with minimizing debris sent to a landfill when the old station was demolished. Most of the new construction material used are renewable and healthy materials."

Some of the green features of Fire Station #5 include the use of sustainably harvested wood, water efficient landscaping, low Volatile Organic Compound emitting (VOC) materials, an energy efficient building shell and HVAC system along with a white roof to counter the urban heat island effect. Additionally, 100% of the electricity for the station will be offset with Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) for the first year of operation.

“The staff worked very hard on this project and we are proud of their efforts, as well as the gold certification. Balancing costs, requests from the firemen and requirements of the gold classification was a tremendous effort,” says Doug Gaynor, Department Director overseeing the Facilities Management Division.

There are 10 other fire stations with LEED gold certification in the U.S., however, this is the first fire station with LEED gold certification in Illinois.

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