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The Prairie Med Building, designed by Partners in Design Architects becomes the first dual green certified building in Illinois.


The Prairie Medical Office Building, designed by Partners in Design Architects, recently became the first building in Illinois to receive two green building certifications. The 39,000-square-foot state-of-the-art medical office and research facility was awarded a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council and a Three Green Globe sustainable certification from the Green Building Initiative.

"We take great pride in being leaders in sustainable design,” said Werner Brisske, partner. "We educate our clients and help them make informed and value-driven decisions relative to initial construction costs and long term operating efficiencies."

The building, which is only the 16th building in the United States to earn dual green certifications, excels in all facets of green design and construction. Multiple bioretention, or biofilter strategies were employed to remove pollution from surface runoff water, including micropools, bioswales, and rain and community gardens.

The two-story building uses 21 percent less water thanks to low flow fixtures and native landscaping that does not require an irrigation system. A 20 to 30 percent increase in energy efficiency was realized by thoroughly insulating the building beyond basic code. Daylighting allows 95 percent of the regularly occupied spaces to have access to exterior views. While being built, more than 75 percent of the construction waste was diverted from the landfill through a proactive waste management plan and more than 90 percent of the wood on the project was harvested from sustainable forests.

The Green Building Initiative stated that, "The Prairie Medical Building is a great example of the success possible in the sustainable design and construction of specialized buildings like this unique medical and scientific care center."