Carroll Center Renovation and Addition


The Park District of Oak Park is a forward-looking institution, and a leader in the implementation of solar PV in the community. This rehab and addition project qualified for an Illinois Clean Energy Foundation Zero Energy Grant by designing to Passive House (PHIUS) certification and annual net-zero energy for the building. The program includes day care for the first part of the day, after-school programs until evening, and adult classes in the evening. The new addition features a movable partition to allow two day care rooms in the morning, but a big open space for larger groups. Mechanical systems include geothermal heating and cooling, energy recovery ventilation, and high-efficiency lighting.

An interactive dashboard on the Park District’s website highlights the use and cost savings achieved from collecting and conserving energy at the Center. Current energy modeling shows the building generating 25% more energy from the on-site solar array than the building will use on an annual basis.


Park District of Oak Park

Structural Engineer
Goodfriend Magruder Structure

M/E/P Engineer
Architectural Consulting Engineers

Hausman Photography

Energy Use per Architecture 2030
With Solar: pEUI = -3.92, 103.7% reduction;

Winner, Design Excellence in High-Performance Buildings, AIA Illinois, 2021
Winner, Retrofit Commercial/Institutional Category, PHIUS Passive Projects Design Competition, 2021
Honorable Mention, Source Zero Category, PHIUS Passive Projects Design Competition, 2021


Illinois Green Alliance, June 1, 2023, “Net Zero Building Case Study: Carroll Community Center

WTTW, April 26, 2022, “Innovative Chicagoland Buildings Striving for Sustainability

ABC7 Chicago, April 20, 2022, “Recycling, solar panels and more: How businesses, government agencies make green by going green

Chicago Tribune, March 17, 2022, “A ‘postcard from the future,’ Oak Park building is one of three in the state to prove it creates as much energy as it uses

Wednesday Journal, March 1, 2022, “Park district’s Carroll Center officially net-zero

Passive House Accelerator/Buildings Magazine Issue, June 23, 2021, “Retrofits: Revitalizing Communities: Carroll Center Passive House Retrofit

Wednesday Journal, July 23, 2020, “Park District Goes Passive