Most of you may be reluctant to the idea of living a more eco-friendly life, but as soon as you will find out more details and realize how easy it can be and how many benefits it will bring, you may change your mind. Let us analyze the story of Barry and Natalie Slotnick, a couple who didn’t believe that living an eco-life can be practical.  

They thought it would look too edgy and that it would be too pricy, so they asked their architect, Nate Kipnis, to do “Nothing Green” when designing their home. They also believed it would look too advanced and futuristic, and that was because they didn't understand eco - design at all. 

However, the couple finally ended up with a beautiful residence that was the second home in the state to be certified LEED platinum last July. The architect said it was traditional in style, form and proportion, but contemporary in its use of materials and system— and 2 times bigger than their Chicago home, yet the price was 60% less to construct.

The residence is truly unique both through its general design and standard uses. Is has a quaint clapboard siding, a grey, silver gabled roof with projecting eaves, and a perfect front terrace. The second floor of the house has the shape of a U and wraps around a deck with sliding doors and huge windows, creating a nice space to spend your mornings, and it also floods the bedrooms with light. Moreover, every part of the roof has solar panels installed and they are positioned in a special manner so that they capture solar light. Also, there is funnel rainwater to the balcony and a modular rainwater storage container on the ground, used for vegetable gardening and irrigation.

The couple was first tempted by the idea of a green home, after they had seen a documentary movie by Al Gore, “An inconvenient truth”. Then they contacted Kipnis. Together they had to put in balance the pros and cons of an eco-friendly home. When they started to build it, they hoped to attain LEED silver, but during the process, they realized they could also have the gold or platinum. 

Inside, the house follows the same trend as the outside. They used sustainable materials such as recycled tiles, oak barn wood flooring, vintage items, and natural textiles. Natalie Slotnick is more than proud of the way she had decorated the house with chandeliers and vintage items. When they had an open house, during a series of tours sponsored by Green Building Council, she kept getting one question: "people always asked if the residence was a rehab”. In order for someone to earn a LEED certificate, a perfect mix of attributes is required. 

How did the Slotnick couple achieve LEED platinum?

1. they’ve added 5 solar panels for each room, thus increasing thermal installation on the roof

2. The functions of the roof were boosted due to the increase of rooftop solar functions

3. They managed to earn 4 LEED Innovative Design points

4. They realized that it was extremely helpful to use smart landscaping, no-irrigation plants

5. The functions of the rooftop were enhanced due to the rooftop’s solar panel and water collection system

What every new green house needs

1. Great materials: green resources, from furnishings to building supplies

2. Fixtures: effective plumbing and appliances

3. Design: increases all-natural day lighting and ventilation

4. Ventilation: efficient and effective, with firm structure envelope

5. Location: in a friendly community