Green Housing: Wentworth Commons

Small, cool, and green. Wentworth Commons is 51-unit apartment complex on the far South Side that provides housing for formerly homeless people. Designed by Harley Ellis Devereaux, the apartments' green features include rooftop solar panels that generate a quarter of the building's electricity, wheatboard wall panels, and native landscaping. We especially like the apartment layouts, which make the most of a small space by incorporating lots of natural light and using island counters to divide kitchen and dining areas...

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Admittedly, the finishes and furniture are a little dorm-like, but there are some cool details like round skylights on the top floor, energy star appliances in apartments, low-VOC paints throughout, and cork flooring in some spaces. Each floor also has a communal living room, and there's a permanent bike storage room for residents.

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The building was funded by Mercy Housing Lakefront, developers of the Helmut Jahn-designed Near North Apartments. For more information, see this article from the AIA.

Photos: AIA and Design Advisor

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