Highland Park affordable housing development earns LEED for Homes Gold

November 04, 2009

Illinois LEED for Homes recently got a big boost when a development built by Brinshore Development in eleven Highland Park green townhomes received their LEED Gold certifications.  The best part is, the affordable housing project captured regional and national attention for its ability to be replicated in other communities.

The ambitious project, known as Hyacinth Place, is a fantastic example of how LEED Homes can be accessible and do not have to be expensive.  The attached single-family townhomes were built with affordability in mind, targeted towards teachers and nurses.

Hyacinth Place, Highland Park - LEED for Homes GoldHyacinth Place, Highland Park – LEED for Homes Gold

The 3 bedroom/2.5 bath, 1550 square foot townhomes feature a highly energy-efficient design as well as a geo-thermal heating and cooling system which is expected to reduce utility costs 50%-75%. Other green features include wind turbine energy generation for common area lighting, attractive courtyard permeable paving stones, an energy-efficient reflective roof, energy-star appliances, bamboo flooring, eco-friendly cabinets and carpeting, and landscaping that incorporates native plants.

Hyacinth Place serves as the City of Highland Park’s model demonstrating affordable, eco-friendly, transit-oriented housing. Each home includes a balcony, basement with an additional 300 square feet and an attached, two-car garage. Townhomes are located within blocks of the Ft. Sheridan Metra station, bus routes, and bike path.

The townhomes were sold for $239,000 by the Highland Park Illinois Community Land Trust (HPICLT) to households earning up to 120% of the Area Median Income (approximately $90,000 for a household of four). The HPICLT is a nonprofit organization established by the City of Highland Park to develop high-quality, affordable housing.  The Alliance for Environmental Sustainability was the LEED for Homes provider for the project.

Categories: Green Building

About The Author

Read All Stories By Jason

Jason La Fleur is the Chair of the USGBC Illinois chapter's Residential Green Building Committee, and is a Project Manager for the Alliance for Environmental Sustainability. He is a member of the national US Green Building Council (USGBC) Education Committee, and assisted with creating the education standards for LEED AP continuing education. Jason is also the chair of the Education Committee for the Illinois Solar Energy Association, and an instructor for the organization. For six years, he developed courses for real estate appraisers and led the Appraisal Institute's Green Building Project Team, working with sustainability-minded real estate professionals. Additionally, he is actively involved in residential green building and the LEED for Homes program in the Chicago region. Jason holds a Master’s in Education from the University of Illinois, and has over ten years of project management and curriculum development experience. Further dedication to sustainability is demonstrated in his LEED Accredited Professional designation.



Imagine how much more affordable these townhomes would have been if it had used the National Green Building Standard as a rating system.

Leave a Comment