Getting to Zero — Illinois

Are you ready to get on the path to zero?

We're working to make net zero buildings feasible, affordable, and commonplace in Illinois.

Illinois Green is tracking and mapping the status of verified zero energy, carbon, water and waste projects throughout Illinois. We are excited to work with project teams to develop educational content, host tours, publish case studies, and provide recognition at our annual awards program each October.

View projects across the U.S. actively pursuing zero energy verification on NBI’s Getting to Zero Buildings Database.

Are you working on a net zero project?

Are you working on a project in Illinois that’s pursuing zero energy or carbon? Submit your project via Illinois Green’s tracking form! 

Verified Net Zero Energy Buildings in Illinois

Illinois Green is tracking and mapping the status of projects throughout Illinois recieving zero energy, carbon, water and waste certification. Projects are featured on the Net Zero Honor Roll when they achieve one of the following: ILFI’s Net Zero Energy certification, USGBC’s LEED Zero Energy certification, or Phius ZERO* certification. Buildings on the Honor Roll are recognized annually in October at Illinois Green's Limelight Gala.

Exterior of Adlai Stevenson High School

Adlai E. Stevenson High School East Building Addition

Lincolnshire, IL

ILFI Zero Energy

Net Zero Performance Verified

Exterior of Adlai Stevenson High School

Photo Credit: Connor Steinkamp

Adlai E. Stevenson High School East Building Addition

Lincolnshire, IL

The Adlai E. Stevenson High School East Building Addition is the first verified net zero building in Illinois. The addition serves as a living laboratory through on-site gardens. The high performing project incorporates best practices across architecture and engineering including a large photovoltaic array that generates 545 MWh-year, resulting in a project that produces more energy than it consumes (-3.75 kBTU/sqft-y). The base building, without photovoltaics, has an efficiency of 32 kBTU/sqft-yr.

At a Glance

  • ILFI Zero Energy Verified
  • 50,000 sq ft.

Project Team:

  • Project Owner: Adlai E. Stevenson High School District 125
  • Architect, MEP Energineering, Structural Engineering, and Landscape: Wight & Company
  • Construction Manager: Gilbane Building Co.
  • Civil Engineer: Eriksson Engineering
  • Solar Consultant/Commissioning: Aero Building Solutions
Lucia McQueeny - DSC_0006_Edit

Granite City Passive House Duplex

Granite City, IL

Phius ZERO

Net Zero Performance Verified

Granite City Passive House

Granite City, IL

In 2021, River Trails School District26 opened the newly renovatedPrairie Trails School. Originally built in 1969, the new renovation has been certified as Phius ZERO and received the Retro 50 award from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Key Performance Data

  • Phius ZERO Certified
  • Net Zero Performance Verified
  • New Construction
  • Completed in 2019
  • 1250 square feet
  • Modeled Energy Use (Modeled EUI): 24 kBtu/sq.ft/yr (excluding renewables) & -0.68 kBtu/sq.ft/yr (including renewables)
  • Measured Energy Use(Measured EUI): 24.3 kBtu/sq.ft/yr (excluding renewables) & 18.6 kBtu/sq.ft/yr (including renewables)
  • Window to Wall Ratio: 10%
  • Energy Modeling Software: WUFI Passive
  • Energy Production: Rooftop solar produces  7.92 kW DC solar array producing 10,863 kWh

Project Team

Owner: Granite City Housing Authority

Architect: Farr Associates

MEP, Structural Engineering: Wight & Company

Civil Engineering: Eriksson Engineering Associates

IMG_4858-2048x1536

St. Joseph's
School Addition

Downers Grove, IL

Phius ZERO

Net Zero Performance Verified

St. Joseph's School Addition

Downers Grove, IL

In 2019, the St. Joseph’s School
Addition opened after renovating the
junior high building built in 1960 and
the elementary school dating from
1926. The project received Phius
ZERO certification in 2020 and was
verified as net zero in 2022

Key Performance Data

  • Phius ZERO Certified
  • Net Zero Performance Verified
  • Retrofit & Addition
  • Completed in 2019
  • 7,500 square feet
  • Modeled Energy Use (Modeled EUI): 24 kBtu/sq.ft/yr (excluding renewables) & -0.68 kBtu/sq.ft/yr (including renewables)
  • Measured Energy Use(Measured EUI): 24.3 kBtu/sq.ft/yr (excluding renewables) & 18.6 kBtu/sq.ft/yr (including renewables)
  • Window to Wall Ratio: 25%
  • Energy Modeling Software: WUFI Passive
  • Energy Production: Rooftop solar produces  36.3 kW PV Array

Project Team

Owner: Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet

Architect: Serena Sturm Architects

MEP, FP Engineering: Elara Energy Services

Structural Engineering: REX

Civil Engineering: V3 Companies

CPHC: Tom Bassett-Dilley Architects

Earth Friendly Products (ECOS)

Addison, IL

LEED Zero Carbon, LEED Zero Energy, & LEED Zero Waste

Net Zero Performance Verified

Carroll Community
Center

Oak Park, IL

Phius ZERO

Net Zero Performance Verified

Carroll Community Center

Oak Park, IL

This all-electric retrofit and addition to a 1920s community center was verified net zero in 2021. Powered by a grid-tied solar photovoltaic array, this high performance project benefits the community and saves on energy bills.

At a Glance

  • Retrofit of 1920s building
  • EUI -4, producing about 9,600kWh more energy than it consumes yearly
  • Phius+ 2018, Phius Source Zero, fully certified for both

Project Team:

  • Project Owner: Park District of Oak Park
  • Architect, CPHC, and Co-Construction Manager: TBDArchitects, Ltd.
  • Structural Engineer: Goodfriend-Magruder
  • Mechanical-Electrical-Plumbing Engineering: Architectural Consulting Engineers
Plainfiled PARC-Kmiecik Imagery-0109-small

Plainfield Activity and Recreation Center

Plainfield, IL

Phius ZERO

Plainfield Activity & Recreation Center

Plainfield, IL

The Plainfield Activity & RecreationCenter provides residents with workout  facilities, a full-size basketball court, a  10-lap walking track, private classes, and a preschool suite while balancing extremely high energy efficiency. The building’s design received PHIUS Zero Certification and won the Commercial Award for Passive House US Design Competition in 2019.

Key Performance Data

  • Phius ZERO Certified
  • New Construction
  • Completed in 2019
  • 37,000 square feet
  • Modeled Energy Use (Modeled EUI): 23.3 kBTU/sq.ft/yr
  • Measured Energy Use(Measured EUI): 24.97 kBtu/sq.ft/yr
  • Window to Wall Ratio: 11.8%
  • Energy Modeling Software: IES VE
  • Energy Production: 213.1 kW

Project Team

Owner: Plainfield Park District

Architect, Designer, & Builder: Wight & Company

UIUC-ECE-10_1

University of Illinois Electrical and Computer Engineering Building

Urbana, IL

ILFI Zero Energy

Net Zero Performance Verified

University of Illinois Electrical and Computer Engineering Building

Urbana, IL

The state-of-the-art University of
Illinois Electrical and Computer
Engineering Building received LEED
Platinum certification in 2019 and
became the university’s first certified
zero energy facility in 2023, receiving
International Living Future Institute’s
Zero Energy certification.

Key Performance Data

  • ILFI Zero Energy Certified
  • Net Zero Performance Verified
  • New Construction
  • Completed in 2014
  • 230,000 square feet
  • Modeled Energy Use (Modeled EUI): 66 kBtu/sq.ft/yr 
  • Measured Energy Use(Measured EUI): 24.3 kBtu/sq.ft/y
  • Window to Wall Ratio: 30%
  • Energy Modeling Software: Trace 700 v6.2.5
  • Energy Production: Rooftop solar produces  300 kW, 970-panel rooftop solar array

Project Team

Owner: University of Illinois

Architect: SmithGroup

Engineering Lead: IMEG Energy Consultants

Civil Engineering: Terra

Geotechnical Engineering: Midwest Energy Services

University of Illinois Campus Instructional Facility

Urbana, IL

LEED Zero Energy

Net Zero Performance Verified

University of Illinois
Campus Instructional Facility

Urbana, IL

The Campus Instructional Facility (CIF) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is a 124,000-square-foot center for flexible learning. The building, completed in 2021, has recieved LEED Zero Energy and LEED B+D NC Platinum certifications, contributing to the University’s Climate Action Plan to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions across campus by 2050.

Project Team

Owner: University of Illinois

Developers: Vermilion Campbell

Architectural Design and Structural Engineering: Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill

MEP Engineering: dbHMS

Energy Modeler: DataBased+

Civil Engineering: David Mason & Associates

General Contractor: Pepper Construction Company

Techny_Prairie

Techny Prairie
Activity Center

Northbrook, IL

Phius ZERO

Net Zero Performance Verified

Techny Prairie Activity Center

Northbrook, IL

This net zero verified park district building represents an achievement in combining high-performance with natural aesthetics. This project is PHIUS 2015+ and Source Zero certified, and powered by both gas & electric, with a 312 kW on-site roof mounted solar array.

At a Glance

  • EUI of 0 and dropping following net zero verification

  • Completed in 2021 & verified in 2022

  • 44,100 sq ft

  • 16% window-to-wall ratio

  • ICECF grant recipient

Project Team:

  • Project Owner: Northbrook Park District
  • Architect, Landscape, and Engineering: Wight & Co.
  • Solar Consultant: SEIE
  • Construction: CCS
  • Ongoing Commissioning: Aero Building Solutions
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Prairie Trails School

Mount Prospect, IL

Phius ZERO

Net Zero Performance Verified

Prairie Trails School

Mount Prospect, IL

In 2021, River Trails School District26 opened the newly renovatedPrairie Trails School. Originally built in 1969, the new renovation has been certified as Phius ZERO and received the Retro 50 award from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Key Performance Data

  • Phius ZERO Certified
  • Net Zero Performance Verified
  • Retrofit
  • Completed in 2021
  • 29,000 square feet
  • Modeled Energy Use (Modeled EUI): 24-26 kBtu/sq.ft/yr
  • Measured Energy Use(Measured EUI): 24.12 kBtu/sq.ft/yr
  • Window to Wall Ratio: 20.7%
  • Energy Modeling Software: Trane TRACE & WUFI
  • Energy Production: Rooftop solar produces 227.1 MWh/yr

Project Team

Owner: River Trails School District 26

Architect: FGM Architects

Structural Engineering: Kibler-AE

MEP Engineering: IMEG Corp.

Civil Engineering: Eriksson Engineering Associates

9 Countryside city hall & Police Department

Countryside
Municipal Complex

Countryside, IL

ILFI Zero Energy

Net Zero Performance Verified

Countryside Municipal Complex

Granite City, IL

After 49 years of use, the City of
Countryside replaced their old
City Hall with the new, net-zero
Municipal Complex which houses
the Countryside city government
and police department. The project
achieved Zero Energy Certification
from the International Living Future
Institute (ILFI) and LEED v4 Gold
Certification.

Key Performance Data

  • ILFI Zero Energy Certified
  • Net Zero Performance Verified
  • New Construction
  • Completed in 2019
  • 34,900 square feet
  • Modeled Energy Use (Modeled EUI): 23.16 kBtu/sq.ft/yr
  • Measured Energy Use(Measured EUI): 29.46 kBtu/sq.ft/yr (excluding renewables)
  • Window to Wall Ratio: 22.7%
  • Energy Modeling Software: Trace 700 v6.3.4
  • Energy Production: Rooftop solar produces 450-foot-
    deep geothermal heat pump &
    638-panel solar array gener-
    ates 275.2 MWh/yr.

Project Team

Owner: City of Countryside

Architect, Interior Design, Mechanical & Structural Engineering: Dewberry

Civil Engineering: Eriksson Engineering Associates

*Phius ZERO certification does not require performance period energy verification.

Net Zero Buildings Watch List

Projects are featured on the Net Zero Watch List if they are pursuing a net zero energy certification and have been approved by their municipality/board to move forward. Eligible certifications are Phius ZERO, ILFI Zero Energy, or LEED Zero. When projects receive net zero energy verification after a 12-month performance period, they move to the Net Zero Honor Roll (see above).

Multi-family Housing 7 Van Buren Oak Park Residence Corporation Oak Park, IL Phius ZERO
K-12 School Academy for Global Citizenship Academy for Global Citizenship Charter School Chicago, IL ILFI Zero Energy/Living Building Challenge
K-12 School Adlai E. Stevenson High School Fieldhouse Addition (EBA II) High School District 125 Lincolnshire, IL LEED Zero
Higher Ed Heartland Community College Agricultural Complex Heartland Community College Normal, IL n/a
Park District Ryerson Woods Education Center Lake County Forest Preserve District Riverwoods, IL Phius ZERO
Park District Oak Park Community Recreation Center Park District of Oak Park Oak Park, IL ILFI Zero Energy
Park District Willowbrook Wildlife Center Forest Preserve District of DuPage County Glen Ellyn, IL n/a
Hotel 1016-1020 W Lake Cogswell Realty Chicago, IL ILFI Zero Carbon

Net Zero Building Resources

  • Building Decarbonization Code: A building decarbonization overlay to the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) (Published by the New Buildings Institute).

Listing of a resource on this page does not imply endorsement by Illinois Green Alliance. This page was curated by our staff and Board members.
If there's a resource we should add, let us know.

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Net Zero Hero Spotlight: Tom Bassett-Dilley

Winner of a 2021 Emerald Award, Tom Bassett-Dilley is the owner and principal at Tom Bassett-Dilley Architects, Ltd. As an architect, he has made meaningful contributions professionally and personally to advance high performance building design and best practices. His decades-long passion for making a positive impact on the environment is reflected in his work as an architect, specializing in Passive House technology and zero energy buildings. His firm has worked on more than a dozen projects that have been designed to net zero standards.

Know a net zero hero?

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