Village going green for Silver

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Oak Park hopes to build a green public works facility, getting at least 33 of a possible 69 points to qualify for a Silver LEED certification.

The U.S. Green Building Council oversees certification of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards. Points are gained in five general areas: sustainable site planning, safeguarding water and water efficiency, energy efficiency and renewable energy, conservation of the materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality.

More specifically, half of the demolished materials will be recycled. Green roofs will cover part of the new building, while reflective roofs will top the rest. Low-flow water fixtures, bike storage and changing rooms, and being close to public transportation all win points.

Green choices are often more expensive, said John Wielebnicki, director of public works. However, green roofs could cover the entire structure in the future if the village wanted to do so.

Options such as geothermic heating and cooling and solar panels were too costly, needing a century to pay for themselves, he said.

Two buildings in Illinois carry the Silver certification.

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