Harris County receives award for Net-Zero Facility


More than 30 local government agencies submitted applications in five categories. The net-zero restroom won the Honorable Mention Diligence Award, which honors facilities that overcame challenges creatively and tenaciously.

The 470-square foot restroom boasts solar panels, a rain harvesting system, and onsite wastewater treatment through natural filtration. In addition, the facility has received a net-zero energy designation, which means the facility will generate enough renewable energy on-site to meet its electrical needs.

Benefits of the design include alleviating the need to connect to existing water and sewage piping and the electrical grid. Long term, the project may save money on electricity and water and allow county parks departments to expand restroom facilities to remote parks.

"I'm proud this model is receiving the recognition it has. Usually, restrooms require large investments in infrastructure and maintenance that would not be feasible in remote parks and along trails," said Commissioner R. Jack Cagle. "We're happy that we now have a cost-effective way to provide access to working restrooms, especially as we continue to expand activities along the greenway."

Designed in 2015 by Harris County Engineering Department interns, the facility is the first of many built for remote areas of the precinct.

More information about H-GAC's Our Great Region is available at www.ourregion.org