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C|ZDS created Net Zero Energy Design Guidelines as directed by Chicago Public Schools Capital Planning & Construction. The goal of these guidelines is to establish a framework that achieves the design, construction, and operation of a facility that balances its ‘source’ energy use with renewable energy.


We assembled a group of thought leaders in various aspects of sustainable design including architecture, engineering, construction technology and indoor environmental quality to identify challenges specific to Chicago’s urban setting.


The development of these guidelines relied on our historical knowledge of CPS’ design, construction and procurement processes. Our rigorous research of sustainability, energy conservation measures and renewable energy technologies identified a methodology tailored to CPS. The guidelines also establish a pathway to compliance with the mandates established in the City of Chicago’s Renewable Energy Challenge.

Net Zero Energy

Design Guidelines

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