Platinum Net Zero Energy Yannell House


This is the Yannell Residence in Chicago, Illinois, a home that was designed and built as an exercise in net zero energy living — it produces at least as much energy as it uses over the course of a year.  It received LEED Platinum certification in July 2009, and has been on a roll getting media attention all over the place.  Some say it’s one of the greenest houses ever built, but one thing is for sure: it has a ton of interesting green elements.


The 2,675 square foot house has four bedrooms and two bathrooms, and it cost about $1.6 million to build, according to Blair Kamin writing for Cityscapes.  The home was designed by Farr Associates and built by Goldberg General Contracting.

In terms of green elements, the Yannell Residence includes a green roof, butterfly roofing that collects rainwater and holds both solar thermal and solar PV, FSC cedar cladding, fiber cement board cladding, permeable pavers, pressed wheat and recycled plastic fencing, recycled content materials, no formaldehyde added cabinets, Paperstone countertops, low flow water fixtures, dual flush toilets, Energy Star appliances, fluorescent or LED lighting, and zero-VOC paints.

In addition, owner Michael Yannell had the home built with what could be Chicago’s first grey water system, together with three, 250-foot deep geothermal wells, and a solar system that generates roughly 18,000 kWh a year.  You can learn more about his home here.





Yannell-house-bathroom-white Yannell-house-bathroom-green


Photo credits: Chris Barret (top two); Green Home Chicago (the rest).

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  • Milieunet

    Great, here are some other great solar homes. Nice videos.

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  • Anonymous

    Beautiful home. I guess I can think of many worse things to spend $1.6 million on….

  • Anonymous

    What about snow in the winter….. that roof looks like it will just collect snow. I’m sure they thought of it though.

    damn it looks good

  • Portland Real Estate

    A friend of mine installed the recycled Paperstone for his countertop material. It is an excellent durable material that I will use in my next house for sure.


  • Trigeia Twins

    What a great looking house

  • Ipotpal

    Wow, that’s a nice house full of energy!

    Hope it is effective as it looks.

  • Owner Builder

    The key factors for building a zero energy home is using an efficient building design such as spray foam insulation or concrete construction together with some solar panels and geothermal for your energy. These systems do cost more to build with, but when you build it yourself, you can do it for less than a conventional home, and its really a lot easier than most people think with the right help. Sound interesting … then see how can help you save today and tomorrow.

  • bsilvia

    I love it. And I need just $1.500,000. Any ideas?

  • Dennis Hinkamp

    Very cool house but like others have said, is $1.6 million for less than 3000 square feet really sustainable? Plus it looks totally inappropriate or the neighborhood. 

  • Matthew Iacopelli

    I showcase the Yannell House in a recent post on my blog HLM
    Interior Design. It is truly an amazing LEED-Certified house inside and out. Resident
    LEED design is very inspirational to me and I am encourage to see that more and
    more residential homes are being built.

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