© 2010, Wayne Cable – http://waynecable.com
This Visitor Center is the main administration building for the Will County Forest Preserve. Green recycled materials were used, including an insulated precast that was made from recycled crushed concrete, used and recycled lumber, plastics and crushed concrete for fill. It contains a high percentage of recycled content. The project is LEED rated. It contains a very large photovoltaic panel system to supplement electricity, which supplements about 18 percent of its electrical consumption. Photovoltaic panels take energy from sunlight and convert it into an electrical current that can be stored in batteries and reused to supplement the building use or can even be sold back to the utility companies. The building contains a passive solar heating and cooling system in which a large skylight allows sunlight to penetrate an interior space where that energy is absorbed by precast concrete panels.