Wentworth Commons is a 51-unit, 65,800 sf affordable housing complex in Chicago’s Roseland neighborhood.  As a home for at-risk and formerly homeless families and individuals, Wentworth Commons has been recognized for its trendy aesthetics and functional green design.  The $13 million project has a slew of green features, including a 33 kWh PV system that provides 25% of the building’s power, a hyper efficient mechanical system, extensive use of locally sourced materials and rapidly renewable materials, and native plantings and bio-swale to reduce storm water runoff. 

I really like two aspects of the design.  First, I love how visual and ostentatious the solar panels are.  Zoning laws in various places force solar panels out of sight, but there’s comfort in seeing solar panels — a feeling that people care about the environment and are willing to spend money to use less coal.  Second, I love the jogged facade and use of various colors to add detail to the building.  Interestingly, the masonry exterior of Wentworth Commons is both graffiti resistant and made with post-consumer recycled content.

Wentworth Commons is a great example of the growing movement to provide green living for those in need.  Read more about Wentworth Commons in the articles below. 

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