Developers go low on emissions with new buildings at Cardinal Square in Mundelein

  • A construction worker makes progress at Cardinal Square Apartments at 250 Anthony Ave. in Mundelein.

      A construction worker makes progress at Cardinal Square Apartments at 250 Anthony Ave. in Mundelein. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • A pedestrian bridge to connect residents from the Cardinal Square development to the Metra station is nearly complete.

    A pedestrian bridge to connect residents from the Cardinal Square development to the Metra station is nearly complete. Courtesy of TRES Real Estate Services LLC

  • Cardinal Square development in Mundelein.

    Cardinal Square development in Mundelein. Courtesy of TRESS Real Estate Services LLC

  • Cardinal Square Apartments at 250 Anthony Ave. in Mundelein.

      Cardinal Square Apartments at 250 Anthony Ave. in Mundelein. John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
 
Posted8/18/2022 5:30 AM

The newest buildings in the Cardinal Square community in downtown Mundelein are designed to operate without carbon emissions.

Developers of the luxury condo and rental project east of village hall and the Metra station say old and new technologies will be combined in two buildings under construction to achieve net-zero emissions for its operations.

 

"Many critics believe that if sustainability cannot be one economically, it is no longer sustainable," said Sean McMahon, general manager/managing broker for developer TRES Real Estate Services Inc.

That assertion is being challenged, McMahon said, in the current construction via a partnership including the village, Samsung, AT&T, Chicagoland Geothermal and MCube.

This phase of Cardinal Square involves two buildings each with 90 apartments connected by a facility housing a fitness center, an indoor pool, a yoga studio, a rooftop terrace with grills and fire pits, and a management office.

All pumps, boilers and mechanical systems will use ground source/electric rather than natural gas as their energy source.

Geothermal energy will be used to heat and cool the entire facility. With heat recovery systems, it also will provide heat for the garage radiant and ice-melt systems and provide all domestic hot water heating.

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Heat also will be recovered between individual apartment units before returning to a geothermal loop. That will be used in summer for pool heating and dehumidification. Ground-source heat would be used in winter for that purpose.

McMahon said ground-sourced geothermal energy allows the entire rooftops of both buildings to be available for solar arrays. That power will be used for the mechanical systems, fitness center/pool/office and electric vehicle charging stations.

The buildings are the third and fourth to be built as part of Cardinal Square. The first was an 84-unit condo building at 300 Anthony Ave. that opened in 2008. A 65-unit apartment building at 301 McKinley Ave. followed in 2015.

McMahon said geothermal systems were tested in the second building. It's used there as the main source of heating and cooling, but gas is used for domestic hot water and garage radiant heat, he said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"There were a lot of lessons learned, and we believed we could expand and improve upon the technology on the current project," he said.

"It wasn't until this summer while under construction when we pulled the trigger on removing all carbon from operations and adding solar arrays to provide the common area electrical supply."

Any required supplemental power will be from renewable sources via the village's Green Aggregation Program.

Cardinal Square was the first project approved by the village board after a transit-oriented development plan adopted in 2004 to redevelop downtown, specifically around the Metra station, according to Dawn Jenich, Mundelein's communications manager.

A pedestrian bridge linking Cardinal Square to the Metra station is 90% complete and will be functional later this summer, McMahon said.

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