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Chicago Net Positive Home | 4126 N Leavitt St, Chicago, IL 60618 view map
Combining high performance energy efficient detailing, a ‘just right’ building footprint, a large solar PV array and zen landscaping produced this superb example of zero electricity green living!

SIZE: 2,917 square feet

PROJECT TYPE: Single Family- New Construction



Designer/Architect: Kipnis Architecture + Planning
1642 Payne Street
Evanston, IL 60201

Contractor: Omega Structures
4416 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60641

Landscape Architect: The Spirited Gardener
1731 W. Carmen Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640

Solar Provider: Solar Service, Inc.
7312 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Niles, IL 60714



This project’s goal was to create a Net Positive Home – generating more electricity than it uses on an annual basis – within a smaller structure.  This gave the couple the larger yard they desired, supplemented with a fully developed green roof system.

The home was designed as energy efficient as possible. The reduced size (2917 sq. ft.), super tight construction, highly efficient building systems and appropriate passive techniques combined with a 6.2kW PV array combined to exceed net zero levels.

The home achieved a HERS rating of 30 and an EUI of 23, and is one of the first Net Zero (electricity) Homes in Chicago.

To provide enough electrical power, the entire garage was covered with PV panels set at their optimal angle. The annual power production is expected to be 7840 kWh. The house’s annual electric usage is estimated at 4800 kWh – with surplus electricity used to partially charge their electric car.

Natural daylighting was obtained through careful window placement and a centrally located skylight. The windows specifications were selected to work with the difficult east/west orientation. Natural ventilation was achieved by venting hot air out of the third floor penthouse windows while drawing in cooler air from the lower windows.