Prairie Med: Illinois’s first dual certified building

Prairie Med, LLC is proud of its ground up development of a new, 39,000 s.f. state of the art medical office and research facility – the Prairie Med building in Grayslake, Illinois. Prairie Med is Illinois’ first dual certified building having received Three Green Globe ( sustainable certification and LEED Silver ( certification.

The Prairie Med project is constructed on 4.76 acres adjacent to Prairie Crossing, a widely acclaimed conservation community. From its inception and throughout the design and construction process, the focus was continually on perpetuating Prairie Crossing’s legacy of sustainable and responsible development. An in depth explanation of the sustainable features of the Prairie Med project can be found in the tabs below.

Sustainable Site

  • P1010871-bioswale_webMaximum benefit of passive solar design with east/west building axis orientation – maximizing southern solar exposure and sunlight penetration to interior spaces while minimizing westerly exposure to cold winter winds.
  • 56.4% of the site remains permeable and open for landscaping.
  • Extensive use of “no mow” grass and native plants to reduce the amount of landscape maintenance emissions.
  • Encourages alternate forms of transportation by providing bicycle racks and showering facilities.
  • Encourages vehicle reduction use by providing preferred parking for both fuel efficient vehicles and carpools. 85.5% of total suspended solids removed from storm water runoff through BIORETENTION stormwater management plan.


Storm water runoff typically collects pollutants, such as chemicals, grease, garbage, and bacteria from impervious surfaces such as roofs, parking lots, roads and sidewalks. Without a biofilter, these pollutants would enter and pollute the natural water system of ponds, streams and aquifers.

Prairie Med’s site contains various naturally vegetated areas which act as biofilters designed to decrease the quantity and increase the quality of stormwater runoff. Natural vegetation, with deep absorbent roots, collects, temporarily holds, filters and absorbs stormwater runoff and many of its pollutants before it is released into the natural water system. Prairie Med’s biofilters include:

P1030898_webRAIN GARDENS are a form of biofilter in a shallow depression, generally formed on a natural slope, planted with native plants and flowers. Like other biofilters, rain gardens are designed to decrease the volume and increase the quality of stormwater runoff. Rain Gardens are not a pond or wetland as water is typically absorbed within 48 hours after a rain event.

BIOSWALES are another form of biofilter typically found adjacent to or between parking spaces in a parking lot. While similar in design and serving the same function, bioswales are typically deeper and narrower than rain gardens. Like other biofilters, bioswales are designed to decrease the volume and increase the quality of stormwater runoff. Bioswale are not a pond or wetland as water is quickly absorbed.

IMG_7622DETENTION WITH FOREBAY AND MICROPOOLS is another naturally vegetated biofilter designed as a supplement to and located at the bottom of stormwater retention ponds. Through the formation of small wetland marshes and shallow micropools together with wetland vegetation, detention forbays and mircopools enhance the pollutant removal capability of the pond. Detention with Forebay and Micropools are unlike Rain Gardens and Bioswales in that they are ponds and can be wetlands; they are similar in function as they are also designed to decrease the volume and increase the quality of stormwater runoff.

Quick facts

of total water pollution is caused by storm water runoff (US EPA estimate)
of chemicals in storm water runoff are effectively removed by rain gardens
of additional water can be absorbed by rain gardens compared to lawns

Water Efficiency

  • pic_water20.69% water reduction through use of low flow lavatory faucets (.5-1.5gpm), low flow water closets and urinals (.125 – .25 gpf), low flow showerheads (.5 gpm) together with lavatory and water closet motion sensors.
  • Xeriscape native landscaping that does not require an irrigation system.

Quick facts

of sediments in storm water runoff are effectively removed by rain gardens

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficient building envelope including:

  • P1000980R-31 white reflective roof with .94 Solar Reflective Index and .87 emissivity
  • R- 17 exterior walls with rigid and foam insulation
  • Insulated low E glazing
  • Minimum 23.36% mechanical system energy savings through optimum energy performance design, use of high efficiency mechanical unit including energy recovery ventilation. Energy modeling and enhanced commissioning were utilized to maximize energy savings.
  • Measurement and verification Building Automation System systems for continuously monitoring energy usage of cooling load, air/water economizer and air distribution system.
  • Energy efficient lighting, including T-5, CFL and LED light fixtures, occupancy sensors and Lighting Control Panel throughout the facility.
  • Four large skylights to bring additional natural light into the building and reduce the need for artificial lighting.
  • Supplemented a portion of the building’s power by engaging in a contract with a renewable energy company that encourages utilization and further research and development of renewable energy sources.

Quick facts

of total electricity consumption in the U.S. is attributed to commercial buildings
of energy consumption in the U.S. is attributed to commercial buildings


  • materialsOver 75% of the construction waste was diverted from the landfill through a waste management plan during construction.
  • Over 26% of the construction materials contain recycled content – including roofing material containing 10% recycled content.
  • Over 43% of the total material (cost) was harvested and manufactured within 500 miles of the project.
  • Over 90% of the wood on the project was harvested from sustainable forests and was classified as FSC certified.
  • Provision of facilities dedicated for paper, cardboard, glass and plastic recycling.

Quick facts

of total raw materials are attributed to U.S. commercial buildings
of total waste output is attributed to U.S. commercial buildings

Indoor Environmental

  • indoor-environment94.64% of the regularly occupied spaces have exterior views and daylight through extensive use of large exterior windows and interior glazed partitions.
  • Installed low VOC (volatile organic compound) content materials throughout the project including adhesives, sealants, paints, ceiling, flooring and composite wood materials.
  • Individual lighting control throughout most of the building.
  • Entry walk off flooring together with self closing doors and exhaust designed to minimize pollutants entering the building.
  • Met the ASHRAE Indoor Air Quality standards for ventilation with the HVAC system design.
  • Implemented Indoor Air Quality Plan for the construction and pre-occupancy phases that exceeded SMACNA IAQ guidelines through use of filtration media, careful storage protection of absorbent materials, air quality testing and replacement of filtration media prior to occupancy.
  • Prohibit presence of Environmental Tobacco Smoke throughout the building and on the entire site.

Quick facts

of total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are attributed to U.S. commercial buildings


  • innovationGreen Cleaning Program that utilizes Green Seal Certified Cleaning products and machinery for a sustainable approach to upkeep of the building.
  • A community garden for building employees successfully produces fresh vegetables.
  • More than 15% of the total furniture and 5% of the total building material cost is from reused materials (furniture, systems, etc.) sourced from other facilities instead of buying new.
  • Even though a sloped roof is visible from the exterior, a significant portion of the building is under a flat roof. A white membrane roof was installed on this flat area to reduce heat island effects.
  • The facility uses beet juice as a de-icing agent in the winter.
  • Locally sourced organic produce is grown and produced from 1-3 miles away for the building’s occupant’s consumption.

Locally Sourced Produce

tomatoes1Prairie Med’s location provides a unique opportunity to locally source the produce for the significant number of meals served at the building 7 days a week – adjacent to the hospital where the meals are prepared as well as a nearby organic farm where produce is grown. Benefits of locally sourced produce include:

  • Support local small farmers.
  • Reduce the distance and emissions to transport produce.
  • Provide superior fresher and typically higher quality produce.

COMMUNITY GARDEN is any piece of land gardened by a group of individuals. Personal benefits of a community garden include: fresher and more flavorful produce, improved diets, increased consumption of vitamin rich vegetables, increased awareness and appreciation for nature and the living environment, increased exposure to green space. Prairie Med has designated up to 1/2 acre of the site for a community garden for tenant employees.

Quick facts

of U.S. food is produced by small farmers in the United States
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