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  • Writer's pictureArizona Contractor & Community

Nation’s largest passive house project breaks ground

Eco Terra, a seven-story, 348-unit luxury mixed-use apartment complex formerly known as Garden Station that is now under construction, has just become the largest project in the country to earn key passive house and net zero certifications.

The development, just outside of Chicago, also showcases the ability to combine green building with an upscale living environment including amenities such as a fitness center, swimming pool, theater, dog park, dog grooming station, and We Work spaces on each floor.

The project – being built by Burr Ridge-based Hawthorne Development Corporation – will use 40-60% less energy than conventional buildings through an array of other sustainability features.


  • Is being built to PHIUS (Passive House Institute US) Standards for energy efficiency, the most difficult to achieve in new construction

  • Will meet the requirements for Net Zero Energy Use and Net Zero Carbon certifications, with all energy to be produced on-site and Lithium-ion batteries to replace gas

  • Will also reduce energy use through features such as solar energy, water-saving plumbing fixtures, triple pane windows, LEDs throughout, variable refrigerant flow that is 30% more efficient than conventional HVAC systems, heat recovery ventilation that reduces heating and cooling demands, and more.

Hawthorne has been at the forefront of sustainable development since the early 1980s, adopting many of the National Green Building Standards long before they were initiated by the U.S. government in 2008.


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