Oak Park Township Shares News of Green Features in its New Senior Center

Based on information from Gavin Morgan, OP Township Manager News of the many green features of the new OP Township Senior Center opening this week was shared, along with several other success stories, at the PlanItGreen Institutional Stakeholders meeting held on July 10th.   The building is located at 130 S. Oak Park Avenue, across from the township main offices.  An opening ceremony for the new facility will be held on Saturday, August 11th at 10am with a public open house from 10am-1pm.

One major sustainability feature is that the existing building itself, which was in poor condition, was entirely reused and upgraded, thereby saving its “embodied energy”.  Bricks, mortar, lumber, glass, etc. stayed out of the land fill, did not have to be transported via fossil-fuel powered vehicles, and did not have to be replaced with newly manufactured materials.

Hats off to the OP Township leadership and contractors involved in this project!  It's a great example of "putting on" an ecological / sustainability lens as we look at the many choices we make!  Continue reading for many more great examples of choices that reflect a commitment to sustainability!

Other features that are great examples of sustainable building practices include:

  • Added substantial exterior envelope insulation
  • Installed a white roof, to reduce urban heat island effect
  • Brick for the renovation project was locally sourced from Marseilles, IL
  • New high efficiency furnaces & air conditioning with programmable thermostats were installed
  • New high efficiency hot water heater was installed
  • Increased natural ventilation through new windows on first floor
  • Increased natural light
  • Zoned lighting controls in Meeting Room
  • Occupancy sensors to control lighting
  • Large capacity for parking bicycles
  • Existing tree in rear of the building saved rather than removed for additional parking
  • The facility encourages non-motorized transportation through availability of bicycle racks and location in a walkable neighborhood
  • Very low flow toilets, urinals and lavatories were installed
  • Carpeting used is made from recycled materials
  • Wheel stops in the parking lot are made from recycled materials

Finally, building materials previously stored on premises were donated to the non-profit ReBuilding Exchange (http://rebuildingexchange.org), thus diverting more materials from the landfill for reuse and helping to provide training opportunities for “green collar” jobs.

For more information about the Oak Park Township Senior Center project, contact Gavin W. Morgan, Oak Park Township Manager, 708-383-8005, gmorgan@oakparktownship.org.