Chicago’s First LEED Platinum & Zero Net Energy Home

We’re in lurve with this house: it's gorgeous, modern and super innovative. Slated to be one of Chicago’s first LEED platinum homes and run the city's first residential grey water system, the house is also aiming to be a zero net energy building…Designed by one of Chicago’s leading green architecture firms, Farr Associates, and commissioned by an ambitious and passionate resident, Michael Yannell, this house is one of a kind. We were lucky enough to recently receive an architect and owner guided tour, and here are some of the highlights:

• The house is broken into two wings, which are connected via a green roofed hallway, to maximize southern exposure for passive solar gain.
• A "butterfly" roof whose angles are optimized for the solar panels, provides overhangs for ample sunshade and diverts rainwater to a large cistern in the basement.
• Chicago’s first single-family gray water system (a major feat), which converts used water from the house's washing machine to clean water that can be used in its toilets.
• A 10kW solar photovoltaic system (48 panels!) and 4 evacuated tube solar thermal panels - combined with geothermal heating and cooling, the systems are expected to generate enough power to exceed the house's projected energy use by 40 percent.
• Most finishes are recycled and rapidly renewable, and include sustainably and locally harvested materials .
• Several green roofs and native and low maintenance landscaping throughout the property.
• Conveniently located adjacent to Chicago’s Metra Ravenswood train stop in addition to several city CTA hubs.

Head over to Chicago Tribune’s Cityscape blog for the complete article and slideshow. Owner Michael Yannell has also kept a detailed blog with lots of information about the project as well as in-progress and finished photos.

(Images: Christopher Walker/Chicago Tribune)

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