Ryerson Woods Educational Center: Nature, Place, Craft, Passive House

Nestled adjacent to the flatwoods along the Des Plaines River, the Ryerson Woods Education Center will act as a beacon of both ecological education and environmental stewardship for the residents of Lake County and the region at large.

In addition to supporting educational programs in partnership with local schools and community organizations, the Net-Zero energy building will serve as a trailhead and launching point into “the resource” of the surrounding forest preserve, which includes one of the only remaining quality flatwoods ecotones in Northern Illinois. The story of preservation of this fragile ecosystem will be told by the building through active demonstration of water conservation, energy production, and material resiliency.

Currently under construction, the facility is design certified to the PHIUS 2021 Source Zero Energy standard, and is projected to utilize 90% less energy than code compliant construction.

About the Presenter
John Taylor Schaffhauser, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

A Project Director in Lake|Flato’s eco-conservation studio, John Taylor – also known to many as “JT” – is chiefly passionate about responsible stewardship of the natural environment. He brings knowledge of high-performance design strategies to all of his projects, including advanced energy modeling, carbon life cycle assessment, as well as Passive House design and certification. JT enjoys designing buildings with aspirational design and sustainability goals in demanding natural environments, which currently includes work in the hurricane-prone Bahamas as well as Lake|Flato’s first PHIUS+ design certified project in northern Illinois.