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Modern Solar Lake House | 60 Lake Zurich Dr., Lake Zurich, IL 60047  view map 
This home combines modern lake house design with a number of sustainable best practices to create a stunning and amazingly comfortable low carbon home.
Construction Status: Nearly Completed

SIZE: 6,185 square feet

PROJECT TYPE: Single Family – New Construction

HERS Rating (Achieved)

Kipnis Architecture + Planning
1642 Payne Street, Evanston, IL 60201
We are guided by the idea that architectural design excellence need not be sacrificed for principles of sustainability. Rather, we believe sustainable design expands the possibilities for innovative architectural forms, construction methods and the use of materials.


This lake front home’s design responds tightly to the pie shaped site that faces onto Lake Zurich, complete with curves that permeate throughout.

To maximize the view out to the lake, a very large curved window wall was designed that integrated the structure directly into the window mulls to minimize visual obstructions. Skylights on remotes are set above the great room to encourage natural ventilation. Except for the bedrooms and bathrooms, the rooms are all open to one another, again for natural ventilation.

The energy concept for the home was to be all electric to reduce fracked natural gas usage. Natural gas is only used as a starter for the high efficiency, sealed combustion, outside combustion air fireplace and for a back up generator. The 9.8 kW PV array provides 32% of the homes energy usage, with the remaining electricity coming from 100% renewable energy credits from the grid.

The mechanical system is provided by a series of all electric, ultra high efficiency mini-splits, controlled by an integrated smart home system. An induction cooktop, hybrid electric water heater and hybrid electric dryer complete the items that typically use natural gas. Lighting is all high efficiency correctly colored LED’s.

A home office is included on the second floor complete with a balcony, facing towards the lake. Their zero carbon work commute consists of walking across the 2nd floor hallway.