Oak Park Park District Press Release:
October 31, 2021
A generous grant of $ 1.78 million has been given to the Park District of Oak Park to build its community recreation center as a net zero energy building, which will generate as much renewable energy on-site as the building has. need to operate. The funding, from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, will support conservation measures for the 40,000 square foot building to be located at 229 Madison Street. Oak Park is the third park district in Illinois to receive a grant to construct a net zero energy building.
âWe are delighted that the Foundation has given the Park District of Oak Park this grant to have the community recreation center built with net zero energy construction requirements,â said District Executive Director Jan Arnold. “This is our third Foundation grant, so we see them as an excellent partner in the District’s efforts to preserve and improve our environment.”
The Community Recreation Center (CRC) is an innovative design by Chicago-based Perkins and Will with experience in the design and construction of recreational facilities. The Park District of Oak Park has worked with architects for the past five years, from feasibility to design, and now to construction of this multi-faceted facility.
This energy efficient building will feature selected building components and materials to meet the requirements of net zero energy buildings, including:
A network of solar panels on the roof and the parking lot
HVAC systems and mechanical equipment with the highest efficiency ratings
Increased insulation values ââin walls and roof
High performance window Green roof and organic channel
LED lighting throughout the project
Presence sensors in rooms and daylight sensors in peripheral areas
EPA Indoor Air Plus requirements for paint and materials
On-site backup battery resilience
In order to be eligible for the grant, the Foundation requires that the building receive a certification by a third party guaranteeing that the building is efficient in its energy consumption.
This facility is expected to receive Zero Energy certification from the International Living Future Institute. In addition to funding construction and materials, the grant program requires recipients to provide educational opportunities to help residents learn about the building’s energy efficiency features. The community recreation center will have educational signs and an energy use display to illustrate how the building is constructed. Once the facility opens, the district will also closely monitor performance and usage to ensure the building meets the benchmarks for the net zero energy building, which is a requirement for the final portion of the grant. .
“We are proud to recognize the Park District of Oak Park’s leadership in sustainability with this net zero energy building,” said Gabriela Martin, director of the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation program for energy. âThe Foundation’s goal is to encourage exemplary buildings and demonstrate that Net Zero-energy performance of buildings is realistic and achievable. We hope the new community recreation center will inspire more park districts to take up the Net challenge Zero. ”
The Community Recreation Center is the culmination of a long, open community process that ensures the facility will provide the highest priority amenities to residents without a tax increase. The Parks Foundation of Oak Park was instrumental in raising private funds to help cover the cost of construction. Amenities include an indoor walking and running track, multi-purpose halls, community halls, electronic gym and gymnasium for pickleball, basketball, camps and other activities.
The Net Zero Energy Building program provides grants to nonprofit, government and higher education organizations for exemplary buildings that maximize energy efficiency. Over a 12 month period, projects should achieve Net Zero Energy (or better) building performance. Net Zero Energy buildings compensate for their own energy consumption by generating the required energy on site from renewable resources. This will be the second Net Zero installation for the Park District of Oak Park.
This press release was produced by the Park District of Oak Park. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.