Building Green: Styczynski Walker & Associates

June 06, 2009

Chicago real estate got a little greener this spring and if you are interested in buying a Chicago green home, this firm can help you make this dream possible.  Longtime Chicago area standout architect Bill Styczynski of Styczynski Walker & Associates

Michele LoConte and her children, Aidan and Isabella Constanzo

Michele LoConte and her children, Aidan and Isabella Constanzo

has more than embraced the green building trends of late, he practices it in every new home his firm designs.  Considered an expert in the industry and in particular the green movement,  his latest effort in west suburban Elmhurst reflects his client’s Michele LoConte, her husband, Tom Costanzo desire for a home that performs and is sustainable as promised.

The Arts and Crafts-style home appears to blend in with the existing neighborhood properly as if it were built many years past.  The fact is that in its interior, mechanically, resource and efficiency-wise, it has cutting edge technology found throughout it’s modest 2,500 square feet.  At 4 bedrooms, this home is comfy and a perfect fit for the family and their 2 children.

Built to the National Home Builder’s Association’s Green Building standards, a voluntary set of practices for attaining a high performing, energy efficient, sustainable resources and superior indoor air quality home.  Low VOC paints, adhesives and sealants for better indoor air, recycled newspaper insulation, dual flush low-flow toilets and fixtures throughout, motion sensors for sensing and sending hot water to the fixtures when a person arrives in the room are but a few of the features.  Bill Styczynski insists that these features aren’t futuristic really, just mostly common sense and attention to detail utilizing products and practices that are readily available in the market.

Perhaps the coolest and most not so well understood feature the home utilizes is the geothermal heating and cooling technology instead of the gas-forced air systems going into most new homes.  An open-loop geothermal heating system uses water pumped from a well and takes advantage of the earth’s 55-degree temperature to help heat and cool the house, a process that is three times as efficient as a traditional furnace, and a heat exchanger recycles energy to lessen the cost of heating fresh air coming into the system. The roof has been prepped for solar panels, which the family will consider once the cost drops and the efficiency of units improves.  Use of the geothermal system earned the family a $10,000 tax credit from the February stimulus package unveiled by President Barack Obama.  While the geothermal unit is approximately twice as much as a traditional furnace, the credit gives the financial incentive to go with the more expenisve system and save money over the years with much smaller heating and cooling bills.

“It would be an easier decision to make, had I known that I would have gotten 30 percent back,” she said. “We almost scrapped it at some point because the budget was higher than we wanted. But we clung to it as something very green that we could do. It was a longtime payoff.”

The LoConte-Costanzo family’s previous 90-year old home once stood on the construction site.  The process of designing and building this new $750,000 green home took a full 2 years while the family rented a house down the street.

About The Author

Read All Stories By Mitch Levinson

Mitch Levinson is the author of “Internet Marketing: The Key to Increased New Home Sales” published by BuilderBooks. He is an Internet marketing expert with expertise in search engine optimization, website development, email marketing, social media and CRM consulting services. He is known for creating effective programs that can be tracked through analytics to prove effectiveness and ROI. Mitch is founder and president of MLC New Home Marketing and MLC FlatFee Realty, as well as managing partner of mRELEVANCE, LLC, a Marketing, Communication, Interactive agency with offices in Chicago and Atlanta. He currently leads the Chicago team. A Multi-Million Dollar Sales Producer who earned an MBA in Computer Information Systems and eCommerce, he brings a unique perspective and experience to the field of real estate communications. Mitch combines the two interests in order to help home builders and developers gain a competitive advantage through the Internet and technology. When he isn’t behind a computer, he enjoys participating in sports and coaching his kids’ teams. Mitch resides in Arlington Heights, Ill., a northwest suburb of Chicago, with his family, which includes two rambunctious labs. Visit my Google+ profile.

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