The Plainfield Park District's Prairie Activity and Recreation Center was just recognized for its energy efficiency.
The Chicago-based Passive House Institute US awarded the PARC its Passive House Certification, according to a news release. The certification makes PARC the first public recreation center in Illinois and the county to receive the designation, the release said.
In order to receive the Passive House Certification, PARC's construction included super-efficient insulation and windows to create an air-tight structure that maintains a consistent indoor temperature regardless of outdoor conditions. As a result, PARC is 65% more efficient than buildings of similar size. With a 500-panel rooftop solar array capable of generating 213 kilowatts of electricity, PARC will also be able to offset its annual energy usage.
To help defray construction costs, the park district received a $1 million grant through the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.
Plainfield Park District Executive Director Carlo Capalbo said the grant helped reduce construction costs, and the facility's efficiency will reduce operational energy costs.
"A community center has been a much-needed amenity for our residents for a long time, and we are glad to be able to finally provide that for them while also finding ways to save taxpayer funds," Capalbo said in the release.
The PARC, located at Gregory B. Bott Park at 24550 W. Renwick Road in Plainfield, includes a large gym, a 4,000 square-foot fitness center, fitness studio, an elevated walking track, four preschool classrooms and a 1,600 square-foot multipurpose room and office space.