The first Gold certified LEED-H home in Illinois is built from the renovation of an old neighborhood tavern. The 3,800 square foot building is used by the owners as both a residence and as the offices of their company: Smog Veil Records. The label has adopted an "eco-friendly" set of principles, and the owners felt their home/office ought to reflect those values as well. Daylighting, recycled materials, and efficient appliances were all part of this project. Inside, some of the floors are made of a terrazzo made from recycled glass and chunks of old vinyl records. (That's probably the only kind of vinyl flooring anyone should have.)
But what really makes it a standout is its energy production. The project incorporates numerous energy generating systems, including solar panels and roof mounted wind turbines. It also uses a geothermal heating and cooling system. Together, these systems should provide roughly half the electricity the building needs annually.
The roof garden ties together many of the green features of this building. In addition to helping control stormwater runoff, it also provides some private outdoor space for a building in the middle of a city. The roof turbines were the first installed in Chicago, but also prompted a change in Chicago's building code. They did not just receive a variance that allowed them to extend above the maximum building height for this particular project, but rather (reflecting that city's current drive to be a leader in green building) recognizing that other buildings would be coming where the owners would want to use roof mounted turbines, the code was amended to exempt all roof mounted wind turbines from building height restrictions.
Image Credit: Chicago Tribune and Michael Tercha.
Article tags: alternative energy, residential