LEED Green Home

LEED Green Home
View of Carport with Two Hotrods


LEED Home Marks One Year Anniversary

We have now been living in our home for one year. It earned the distinction of being "Illinois' First LEED Detached Single Family Home" in May of 2007. We still get a lot of questions about the house so maybe this can answer some of them. If there are still more questions anyone may have, feel free to ask.

Both I and my husband are architects and what better fun can an architect have than getting to design and build their own modern custom home! It was a long time from finding the right lot up to move-in day but well worth it. There have been pros and cons and I'll let you know about those too.

Back in the middle of 2006 we were lucky enough to find a half-acre lot for sale in Bloomingdale. http://www.villageofbloomingdale.org/ (Actually a pretty savvy Realtor called us and let us know about it.) It was undeveloped land with roughly 25 mature trees on it ranging from ash, honey locusts, maple and a variety of evergreens. Even though it was undeveloped land it was in an established suburban setting within walking distance to a multitude of amenities-a park, school, shopping, dining, etc.

One caveat to buying the property was that we had to buy the adjoining 1 acre lot. That lot had a home on it that was built in 1974 with all the original finishes still in place. (If you love flocked wallpaper, mirrored walls, multi colored shag carpeting, orange counter tops-think Brady Bunch, then you would have loved it.) It was (and still is) a great home with good bones that just needed a face lift. We affectionately named that house "The Pheasant House". There willbe more about that later.

We went in with the plan that we would design and build a new LEED home for us on the half-acre lot and do a LEED renovation/addition of the existing house on the one-acre lot and then sell it.

The only thing that made us nervous about the purchase was the fear that the Village would not let us build our home with the design we wanted-a modern home with a flat roof. Prior to finding this lot we had been looking for a piece of land (within our price range-and specific requirements like not next to the highway, no well and septic, walking distance to amenities...) for about a year. Then we stumbled upon a lot in a neighboring town that met our requirements and were soon under contract. Luckily, we went to the Village and the seller (who happened to live next door) to let them know about our plans for doing a green home and showed them renderings of our proposed design. Who knew flat roofs could cause such a commotion! After months of discussions, the Village was not about to grant a variance for our flat roof and the seller decided to not sell the property. What a God send we never made it to that closing table! So when this property in Bloomingdale dropped out of heaven, we knew this was where we wanted to build our home and raise our family.

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