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July 30, 2014
Now in its second year, the GreenBuilt Home tour showed the curious a cross-section of Chicago’s new sustainable and eco-friendly homes. The open dialogue about cost and comparable energy bills (many of the homes with solar panels proudly displayed utility bills with $0 owed) suggest the continued cost-effectiveness of these homes is making them a much bigger part of the conversation. Click through the slideshow for a look at some of our favorite green homes from the tour.
Chicago Net Positive Two-Story Green Home with Modern Facade

Chicago Net Positive Home (Kipnis Architecture + Planning)

Built for the owners of Uncommon Ground—a pair of cafés, one of which boasts an organic rooftop garden—this 2,900-square-foot home boasts an array of sustainable design features, from custom cabinetry made from insect-damaged wood to a treehouse-style study wrapped in reclaimed barn wood. 

Courtesy of 
GreenBuilt Home Tour
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Kitchen counter in Chicago's Net Positive energy-efficient home

Chicago Net Positive Home (Kipnis Architecture + Planning)

Architect Nathan Kipnis’ plans utilized super-tight construction, skylights, and carefully calibrated air flow to increase natural light and ventilation while lowering energy usage. Landscape designer Julia Bunn enlivened the 400-square-foot roof with a green rooftop garden. 

 

Courtesy of 
GreenBuilt Home Tour
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Garage with solar-paneled roof in a Chicago net positive home

Chicago Net Positive Home (Kipnis Architecture + Planning)

The home manages a net zero rating thanks to a grid of solar panels mounted on the garage, which generates enough power to take care of the home’s electricity needs and charge an electric car and hot tub on the roof.

Courtesy of 
GreenBuilt Home Tour
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Adapted LEED-certified home with a modern facade in Chicago

Sustainable Attainable Home (MV Properties & Construction)

Owner Bill Benton adapted the design of a LEED-certified home to create this affordable green residence in Wicker Park, one that ended up being cheaper than comparable new construction in the neighborhood. By utilizing material substitution (bamboo flooring instead of cherrywood, tile instead of quartz around the fireplace) and incorporating a massive oval lightwell and solar paneled-garage, this home, in Benton’s words, aims to become a template for others seeking to build green in Chicago. 

Courtesy of 
GreenBuilt Home Tour
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Renovated Lincoln Park home with energy conservation features

Urban Renovation (Foster Dale Architects)

This renovation of a Lincoln Park four-flat gave a growing family plenty of comforts with an eye towards energy conservation (features include a geothermal heating system, residential elevator, and spray-foam insulation). However, the highlights are the open main floor and sizable rooftop with a downtown view, outdoor fireplace, screened pergola, and modular green roofing. 

Courtesy of 
GreenBuilt Home Tour
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Comfortable deck in a crowded urban lot

Urban Renovation (Foster Dale Architects)

Created from composite materials, the deck gives this modern home a desirable outdoor space in a crowded city lot.  

Courtesy of 
GreenBuilt Home Tour
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Sustainable Chicago kitchen

314 Park (Coda Design + Build)

Empty nester Leanne Star’s 2,400-square-foot North Shore home made significant strides in sustainability, just by taking a simple turn. By orienting sideways, 314 Park gains a massive southern exposure, that, coupled with multistory windows (lined with an elegant groove pattern), double-wall construction, and solar tube lighting, provides natural light while conserving energy. The light helps showcase a living room filled with art, a clean-burning fireplace, and a dining table by local artisan Michael Dreeben.

 

 

 

Courtesy of 
GreenBuilt Home Tour
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Modern fireplace in a house for aging in place in Chicago

314 Park (Coda Design + Build)

Star also made aging in place a focus. The freelance writer’s first floor office, which boasts a Minka Fan and street-facing windows, and the powder room, can be converted into living quarters when stairs become difficult.

Courtesy of 
GreenBuilt Home Tour
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Chicago Net Positive Two-Story Green Home with Modern Facade

Chicago Net Positive Home (Kipnis Architecture + Planning)

Built for the owners of Uncommon Ground—a pair of cafés, one of which boasts an organic rooftop garden—this 2,900-square-foot home boasts an array of sustainable design features, from custom cabinetry made from insect-damaged wood to a treehouse-style study wrapped in reclaimed barn wood. 

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