ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Calvin Ball today announced that the County’s Department of Fire and Rescue Services’ (HCDFRS) Waterloo Fire Station has been awarded LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). This achievement is underscored by the integration of eco-friendly elements, including reflective concrete, low-flow water appliances, a geothermal system for HVAC, energy efficient boilers, EV charging stations and rooftop solar panels. The station’s key environmental features include renewable energy for 49 percent of the building’s energy use, a reduction of indoor water usage by 46 percent and an energy cost savings of 60 percent.
According to the USGBC, while buildings in the United States account for almost 40 percent of national CO2 emissions, LEED-certified buildings have 34 percent lower CO2 emissions, consume 25 percent less energy and 11 percent less water, and have diverted more than 80 million tons of waste from landfills. Not only does the construction of our Waterloo Fire Station align with our Climate Action Plan and our commitment to becoming more energy independent, but it also highlights our commitment to protecting the health, safety and efficiency of our firefighters and law enforcement personnel. This station represents a significant achievement in public safety infrastructure and environmental stewardship.
Home to more than 20 DFRS career personnel across three shifts and a Howard County Police Department satellite office, construction of the Waterloo Fire Station began in the summer of 2020 and was completed in October 2022.
As part of the HCDFRS’s award-winning Carcinogen Reduction Program, the station is designed with intuitive zones to reduce the transmission of carcinogens between working and living spaces. Additionally, the station’s state-of-the-art design incorporates extensive energy efficient and environmentally friendly strategies.
“The Waterloo Fire Station not only serves our community, but also stands as reminder of HCDFRS’ commitment to energy independence,” said Fire Chief Louis Winston. “By achieving the LEED Gold certification, we have shown that through construction we can design stations that constantly work to be energy efficient, lower carbon emissions, reduce operating costs and conserve resources.”
Located at 7645 Port Capital Drive in Jessup, the Water Fire Station is strategically located to meet the growing needs and improves DFRS’s response times to the county’s Waterloo, Jessup and East Columbia communities. In addition to achieving LEED Gold certification, the station’s design was also recently recognized by the National Association of Counties with its 2023 Achievement Award.
“DPW is proud to have designed and constructed yet another LEED certified facility, the County’s first LEED Gold fire station, and further contributing to County Executive Ball and the County’s Climate Action Plan and energy independence goals,” said Yosef Kebede, Department of Public Works Director.
LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a globally recognized symbol of excellence in green building. LEED certification ensures electricity cost savings, lower carbon emissions and healthier environments where people live, work, learn, play and worship. LEED projects earn points by adhering to prerequisites and credits across nine measurements for building excellence from integrative design to human health to material use.
Waterloo Fire Station’s LEED certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership. LEED was created to make the world a better place and revolutionize our buildings and communities by providing everyone with access to healthy, green and high performing buildings. This fire station is a prime example of how the innovative work of project teams can create local solutions that contribute to making a global difference.