This is the Helenowski Residence, a gut-rehab in Chicago that achieved the highest LEED for Homes point total ever with 119 points, according to LEED for Homes provider Alliance for Environmental Sustainability.  The 3,300 square-foot renovation achieved an impressive HERS rating of 13 and is net-zero energy with the help of rooftop solar power and a vertical axis wind turbine.

Helenowski Residence was designed by Mariusz Bleszynski, AIA, and built by Square 1 Precision Lighting (led by owner Jacek Helenowski).  The owner put a lot of work into the renovation — more than 4 years — netting LEED Platinum certification, Energy Star, and 3 Stars in the Chicago Green Homes Program.

Keys to success, as referenced in a certification snapshot, include the geothermal HVAC system, cold-cathode lighting, recycled content drywall, reclaimed dimensional lumber (92%), and triple-paned FSC certified wood frame windows.

Instead of using typical CFLs, which contain mercury, or traditional LEDs, which contain arsenic, the cold-cathode lighting is expected to last a long time and is up to three times more efficient than LEDs.

Also, the vertical axis wind turbine is one by Canada-based Winterra, a company that closed in May 2010.  The owner helped designer a controller for the VAWT with regenerative braking similar to what’s in hybrid cars.

Other green products and materials include fly-ash cement, recycled-content tiles, CFC-free soy-based foam insulation, a vegetative green roof, a reflective white roof, rainwater collection from the roof, motorized front blinds tied to a thermostat, reclaimed copper roof, gutters, and fascia, and exterior stone reclaimed from blast fragments.

Alliance for Environmental Sustainability, a non-profit and LEED for Homes provider, tipped us off to this noteworthy green home.  It’s definitely on the short list for next year’s compilation of stunning LEED Platinum projects.

Credits: Zukas Photography.