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Meet Chicago’s Greenest Home

March 22, 2011

A Chicago home is being recognized as one of the most environmentally friendly in the country.

The home, located at 6835 N. Algonquin Ave. in Chicago’s Edgebrook neighborhood, didn’t just recently receive a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification; it achieved one of the highest scores ever with 119 out of 136 points.

The gut-rehab is now considered to be one of the most energy-efficient and affordably built homes in the United States, not to mention Chicago’s greenest house.

One of the first net-zero energy residences in Chicago, the 3,300-square-foot home uses renewable resources to produce as much energy as it consumes over the course of a year.

And it cost only about $80 per square foot to construct. That is an example of affordable green building.

Other green highlights in the six-bedroom, four-bathroom home:

*CFC-free soy-based foam insulation

*Ultra-efficient lighting made in Illinois

*Motorized blinds tied to a thermostat to control heating and cooling

*A spa-heat retention system to store extra heat

*Reclaimed wood from a burned Chicago building

*Drywall made almost entirely from recycled gypsum from coal-burning power plants in East Chicago

*Triple-paned FSC-certified wood-frame windows

*A geothermal heating system to heat and cool the home from ground temperatures

*Fly-ash cement

*Recycled-content tiles

*A vegetative green roof that reduces water runoff when it rains

*Landscaping comprised of native species

More than four years went into the renovation of Chicago’s greenest home, which is owned by Jacek Helenowski, who reportedly grew up in the house.

It was designed by Mariusz Bleszynski, AIA, and built by Square 1 Precision Lighting, led by Helenowski, who moved in last month with his wife and daughter.

A ceremony marking the greenest-of-the-green designation was held on Monday at the home and attended by representatives of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05).

“I am proud to have such an achievement in green building in my district,” said Quigley. “My hope is that this is the future of construction, because as the Helenowski family has shown us, it is a boon to the local economy, saves on energy costs, and is terrific for our environment.”

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[...] insulation; motorized blinds that control the thermostat; and reclaimed wood. Adding to the list of green features is a vegetative green roof to help with water run-off, a rain collector, and a reclaimed copper [...]

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