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Chicago Home To Greenest Home in America

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Feb 29, 2012 4:30PM


While this mild winter has kept utility bills in check, many of us live in fear of a brutal cold front or heat wave that will suck money out of our wallets and into ComEd's. One homeowner in Chicago doesn't worry about that. Recently featured in Mashable's list of eight amazing green buildings, the Michael Yarnell residence in Ravenswood is the highest scoring LEED building ever built.

The 2,700 square foot home received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification upon completion, and creates an amazing 40 percent more energy than it consumes. The home utilizes a number of "green" technologies, including passive solar, solar grid technology, a greywater system and closed looped geothermal heating and cooling components. What... no wind turbines in the Windy City? Nevertheless, the Yannell residence generates 18,000 kWh of energy annually and uses only 12, 689 kWh, which earned the home owners approximately $52,000 in tax credits in 2008-2009.

Designed by Farr Associates and built by Goldberg General Contracting, the four bedroom, two-bath home cost $1.6 million to construct. In addition to the green energy generation, the property also utilizes many environmentally-friendly materials and fixtures, including "permeable pavers, pressed wheat and recycled plastic fencing, recycled content materials, no formaldehyde added cabinets, Paperstone countertops, low flow water fixtures, dual flush toilets, Energy Star appliances, fluorescent or LED lighting, and zero-VOC paints."

The Yannell residence is just the latest in a long line of local architectural marvels. As the birthplace of the skyscraper and primary canvas for Frank Lloyd Wright's extensive residential legacy, Chicago once again proves that it remains at the forefront of building design.