RTSD26 Awarded a Net Zero Energy Grant

Print this page
RTSD26 Awarded a Net Zero Energy Grant
Posted on 07/15/2020
New District Office Rendering

River Trails School District 26 in Mt Prospect, IL is proud to announce that the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation has approved a grant of up to $2,000,000 to renovate a Kindergarten and Preschool Learning Center. This grant was awarded as part of their Net Zero Energy Building program. Net zero energy consumption means the total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis is equal to or less than the amount of renewable energy created onsite. Board President Frank Fiarito stated, “Empowering students to be stewards to their environment and community is one of our pathways to life-ready students, and what better way to demonstrate this than renovating a building to have net zero energy consumption.” Dr. Nancy Wagner, Superintendent, shared “The dream of a school that is an educational example and resource of sustainability was born from Dr. Lyndl Schuster, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services, whose leadership was essential to our receipt of this grant.” The design team was led by FGM Architects from Oak Brook, IL. IMEG provided mechanical system design and Trane/Ingersoll Rand designed the photovoltaic system. The school is being renovated to house all of the District Kindergarten and Preschool students, as well as the District Administration. The building was built in 1965 and has had very little renovation done since that time. Most of the infrastructure is original including the heating system, windows, and insulation. Therefore, transforming this building into a net zero energy building will significantly reduce our energy consumption and will be a wonderful teaching tool and showcase for renewable energy in our community. The facility’s innovative design, in addition to providing net zero energy, has been pre-certified by Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) as a PHUIS+ and PHIUS+ Source Zero project. PHIUS+ is a “high-performance building standard” that challenges the building industry to construct buildings that can maintain a comfortable indoor environment with very low operating energy. Buildings that meet the PHIUS+ standard use 40-60 percent less energy for space conditioning than conventional buildings. Boeman Design LLC served as the Certified Passive House Consultant assisting the team in meeting the PHIUS+ Standard. This energy-efficient building will feature components and building materials chosen to meet net zero energy building requirements and PHIUS+ standards, including:

● Photovoltaic (solar panels) on the roof

● A new highly efficient electric variable refrigerant flow (VRF) heating and cooling system with heat recovery

● Building automation system to monitor temperature and electrical loads

● Increased insulation values in the walls and roof

● High performing windows

● Energy efficient LED lighting with daylight harvesting

● Educational displays including interactive video learning displays and energy usage

This building is a continuation of River Trails School District 26’s leadership and vision of creating environmentally-friendly learning environments. River Trails Middle School received the US Department of Education’s Green Ribbon School Award in 2015. In that same year the district exceeded its US Department of Energy Better Buildings Challenge goal to achieve a 20% improvement in energy efficiency by 2026, achieving a 23% reduction in energy efficiency 11 years ahead of schedule.The renovated Kindergarten and Preschool building will be the first net zero energy building in Mt. Prospect. “The Village of Mount Prospect, through its Strategic Plan, is committed to sustainability and the use of renewable resources. We are proud of District 26 and congratulate them for being awarded a Net Zero Energy Grant”, said Mount Prospect Mayor Arlene Juracek. “This new net zero energy building will serve as an important example and learning tool for the entire village.” Construction will be managed by Nicholas & Associates, Inc.. “As the construction industry continues to shift towards sustainability, we look forward to being on the front lines and are proud to partner with River Trails School District 26, FGM Architects and the Village of Mount Prospect on this net zero energy building project. Mount Prospect has been our home for over 40 years, and we count it as a privilege to manage this unique local project that promotes excellence in resource stewardship”, said Nick Papanicholas, Jr., President of Nicholas & Associates. Construction will begin in July, 2020 and should be completed in early 2021.