Illinois Opens State's First Net Zero Government Building

Sourced from Contractor Magazine

Countryside Mayor Sean McDermott and city officials opened the new Countryside Municipal Complex today at a ribbon cutting attended by hundreds of community residents. All Countryside residents were invited to attend, and city staff provided tours of the facility during a three-hour open house. A trolley car was available to transport residents to the open house.

“We all have a responsibility to protect our environment and to mitigate the impact of climate change,” McDermott stated. “Because of this priority, our city council gave its full support to building a Net Zero municipal complex that will meet the needs of our city now and well into the future.” The Net Zero building will produce as much energy annually as it uses and has met LEED Gold certification requirements, which also include reducing light pollution, water consumption, storm water run-off, and materials waste.

Housing Countryside’s city hall and police department, the 34,700-square-foot, tri-level complex was built as a sustainable and environmentally responsible solution to replace the current 16,945-square-foot city hall and police department, which opened in 1967. Dewberry served as the complex’s architect and Frederick Quinn Corporation (FQC) as the construction manager.

The complex includes 635 solar panels with an estimated annual output of 273,000 kilowatt hours. The panels will produce 100 percent of the building electricity, and the city will have no electric bill to pay while reducing carbon emissions. Other building features include a “green” roof with native plants that reduces storm-water run-off, energy-efficient mechanical systems incorporating geothermal heating and cooling, water-efficient plumbing fixtures, LED lighting, insulated low-emissivity glass allowing natural light that saves energy costs, automatic light shut-off, air-tight building design, and air quality control.

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