We are thrilled to announce that the Prairie Athletic & Recreation Center (PARC) in Plainfield, Illinois, has been verified as Net Zero Energy by the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation (ICECF). This achievement reflects our collective dedication to sustainable design and is the culmination of a multi-year effort.

PARC, completed in 2019, holds the distinction of being the first recreation center in the U.S. to achieve PHIUS + Source Zero. As the designer and builder, Wight & Company (Wight) collaborated closely with the Plainfield Park District on all aspects of this pioneering project. Despite an energy-efficient design, PARC encountered challenges during the initial monitoring period for NZE certification. Because this period occurred during the first phase of the pandemic, operating hours fluctuated more frequently than expected. After a thorough investigation, it was discovered that the photovoltaic (PV) system on the roof did not generate the required power, jeopardizing the District's eligibility for the remaining $400K of grant funds.

While the District adjusted to the news and moved on, Wight remained committed to fulfilling the promise of Net Zero Energy. Through ongoing monitoring and analysis, our team enhanced the mechanical systems, but the PV system continued to fall short. To address this, negotiations with the PV subcontractor and the installation of a new ground array outside the building were undertaken.

Upon diagnosing the issue, Wight presented PARC's case to ICECF the certifying agency and grant provider, and secured an extension on the NZE monitoring period until December 2023. During this extension, modifications to the equipment and systems successfully met the requirements. This achievement not only fulfilled our commitment but also ensured the District received the final grant installment.

Craig Polte, Wight’s Director of Construction and Project Executive for PARC, expressed pride in the team’s perseverance, stating, "Wight is proud of being a different kind of firm, and this story exemplifies exactly what we mean by that." He emphasized that being both the designer and builder for this project was the critical ingredient to delivering on the promise of Net Zero Energy.

For more information about this certification, click here to view the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation case study.


Plainfield PARC 03
Plainfield PARC 09