Buildings & Energy

Energy Efficient Lighting

LED lighting uses up to 75 percent less energy than traditional technologies, such as incandescent, metal halides, and high pressure sodium lamps. According to the US Department of Energy, LEDs are expected to have the greatest impact on the reduction of energy usage in the United States. By 2027, LEDs are expected to reduce the electrical output required by electric power plants by 348 TWh (equivalent to the electricity produced by 44 electrical plants in one year).

The Winnetka Park District has replaced inefficient lighting technologies with LEDs throughout the interior of the Winnetka Ice Arena and the exterior of Lloyd Boat Launch. The replacement of lighting technologies throughout all park district facilities may be considered in the future as part of a comprehensive energy efficiency strategy.

Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy is the heat from the earth. Geothermal heat pumps can tap into this resource to heat buildings in the winter and cool them in the summer. This is accomplished by burying heat exchangers in the shallow ground near the Earth’s surface which maintains a nearly constant temperature between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. In the winter, heat is removed from the exchangers and pumped into the building. In the summer, the process is reversed and the heat is taken from the building and transferred to the exchangers.

As part of the enhancements made to the A.C. Nielsen Tennis Center in 2013, a geothermal heat pump system was installed to service a portion of the facility. The geothermal system is utilized in both the winter and summer, resulting in a reduction of natural gas usage.

LEED Certified Building

LEED (leadership in energy and environmental design) is an internationally recognized green building certification system developed by the US Green Building Council. Buildings that are designated as LEED certified are designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across key metrics: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

In 2010, the park district built its new Parks Service Center located at 1380 Willow Road. This building was designed and constructed utilizing innovative green building standards. It is LEED certified, with a Gold rating — the second highest rating a building can receive. For more information about the Parks Service Center’s LEED certification, click here.

Comprehensive Energy Efficiency Strategy

As part of the park district’s five-year strategic plan that was developed in 2017, staff will be working to conduct an energy analysis of all facilities and equipment to identify a comprehensive and strategic plan to reduce energy consumption. Once this plan is developed, projects and initiatives will be prioritized and completed as decided by staff and the park board.

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