Photo - solar panels on lower roof

Incorporating the Northbrook Park District’s mission of environmental stewardship and sustainability, Techny Prairie Activity Center is constructed
as a Net Zero Energy Building—a highly energy-efficient facility with the total calculated amount of energy used by the building being equal to or less than the amount of renewable energy created on-site.

The facility is receiving a $1.78 million grant from Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. This grant helped fund construction and materials to achieve the Net Zero Energy Building status. The Net Zero Energy Building Program awards grants to nonprofit, government and higher education organizations for exemplary buildings that maximize energy efficiency.

Design features include:

  • An array of 833 photovoltaic (solar) panels on the roof
  • HVAC systems and mechanical equipment with the highest efficiency ratings
  • Increased insulation values in the walls and roof
  • High-performing windows and strategic window placement to help regulate indoor temperature
  • LED lighting throughout the building and parking lot
  • Occupancy sensors in rooms and daylight sensors in perimeter spaces
  • EPA Indoor Air Plus requirements for paint and materials

In order to qualify for the grant, the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation requires that the building receive a third-party certification ensuring the building is aggressively efficient in its energy use.

TPAC is slated to receive PHIUS+ and Source Zero Certifications, both from the Passive House Institute US.

ICON - Net Zero Energy Building