North Lawndale Net Zero Home |July 15th @ 3:30
Masonry structured building demonstrating that even old, urban dwellings can be retrofitted to reduce their environmental impact

This home is an exceptional deep energy retrofit of a 117-year-old Chicago masonry two flat and discover how old urban dwellings can be retrofitted to make our homes healthier and more economic to run, own, and live in. The owners used a system-wide approach to turn this former energy hog into a net zero energy building, targeting LEED for Homes Platinum.

To accomplish these goals, the owner commissioned an energy model at the inception of the design process to set a project baseline. Building science principles, particularly on the issue of moisture management, were key factors in the decision-making process. Envelope treatment, reduction in thermal bridging, glazing, ventilation and heating and cooling were approached as one system. Technologies the project relied on include: spray foam for air sealing, high efficiency hydronic heating system, ductless air-source heat pump, triple glazed IGU’s, enthalpy recovery ventilator, an efficient domestic hot water delivery system with a DWHR unit, and EMF management.

Affordability was a key goal to show that a deep energy retrofit doesn’t have to break the bank. The project is in one of Chicago’s poorest communities, which also has one of the highest density of Graystone buildings in the country. This deep energy retrofit stands out in the community as an example of what could and should be. Because the owners utilized local labor resources, the word started to spread on what was different about this project and why, and local homeowners began to inquire about building insulation, replacement windows, etc.

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