Solar Verde Zero Energy Green Homes

Solar Verde

I’m dedicating this article to all the traditionalist readers out there — I must admit, though, I’m seriously hesitant about the design here, but I know some of you love this style.  What I love, however, is the idea that green homes and communities can be zero energy.  That’s what Solar Verde is all about.  Solar Verde is a planned community of 20 homes and the developer claims its the first development east of the Rocky Mountains to offer a roof-top photovoltaic system as a basic design feature.  Homes come with a 4 kW solar PV system made with SOLARSAVE roof shingles.  As you can tell, the developer finished the first two model homes last July for this south Chicago green community.   

Solar Verde Rendering

The first two homes are each ~1600 sf with two above grade levels and a full basement.  They can be purchased for ~$340k according to the website.  With that, you’ll get a net zero energy home and some quality green home features:

  • No VOC paints
  • Energy Star appliances
  • Lighting fixtures with CFLs
  • 50% recycled content Crossville tiles
  • Recycled plastic laminate Earthstone countertops
  • Low flow and dual-flush toilets
  • Rooftop solar PV system
  • Energy efficient home envelope

The prefabricated exterior wall system by TechBuilt is made of 95% recycled material and has an R-value of 40.  Combine that with the R-50 cellulose attic insulation and you have quite the insulated envelope of a home.  Hey, the more efficient the home, the less energy you use and the less you rely on mechanical systems to do a home’s heavy lifting.

The Minnesotan Home is located at 9560 Marquette, South Chicago, Illinois, 60617, and the Californian is located at 9562 Marquette, South Chicago, Illinois, 60617.   





Photo credits: Solar Verde.

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  • Mike M

    I like the style of these homes much more than most of the “modernist” designs featured extensively on this site. I know that probably goes against the grain with most readers here, but, in my mind, classic designs will always remain classic, whereas modernist designs will quickly look dated and out of style. You can’t remain “modern” forever.

    • Preston

      Mike M has a good point. If we increase our activity constantly in pursuit of “modern,” we’re not being very green. But everyone has different tastes and I’m a believer that there is a type of “modern” that’s just as lasting as other styles.

      Here, though, we’re just trying to give props to a good development. We need more zero energy home regardless of the architectural vernacular.

  • josh

    ugghhh… had to shutter a minute before writing about the design of these homes. Obviously pumped on the features, but c’mon… faux brick front facade?? That screams tasteless louder than just about anything! And those renderings… who on earth would greenlight those?!?!…. Thanks for keeping it fresh with a diversity of projects, Preston.

  • Phil

    One word: Ugly.

  • Andrew Stone

    Just because I am here and I have read this do I have to comment. I can’t believe there weren’t any comments about the vinyl lattice under the porch. Now that is tasteless. The rest of the house looks pretty common to what I have seen lately on the East coast. For some reason they really like to brick the front and then side the rest of the house in the East.

  • kim

    Does anyone knows how much these are selling for, unfortunately not my tasted but Green is the way to go.

  • Evan

    It’s perfectly acceptable to appeal to buyers who want a more traditional style energy-efficient home, but when its executed poorly, such as in this case, its more like a slap in the face to the original examples of the design. From the brick veneer to the extremely cheap-looking windows and lack of detail, these will begin to look dated very fast. Since they were working on a smaller budget, they could have just as easily went with a more modern design that didn’t require imitation, which could have helped these look more innovative, and less cheap.

  • Sam

    These are more of a builder schlock style, not really traditional. The proportions are pretty bad. It’s nice that they’ll be more energy efficient though.

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