What’s That Building? A 19th-Century Greystone That’s Going Off The Grid | WBEZ
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What's That Building? A 19th-Century Greystone That’s Going Off The Grid

The rehab of a historical greystone in Hyde Park into an energy-sipping home capable of going off the power grid is almost complete.

When it's done, the 3,500-square-foot greystone at 5485 S. Ellis Ave. is expected to use only one-tenth the energy and have one-tenth the carbon footprint of a house of the same size. If the solar array designed for the roof is installed, it may even be net-negative-energy, meaning it will generate more energy than it uses, and the excess can be sold into the utility grid. 

Developer Michael Conners, the head of Kenwood Construction, is doing the rehab according to the standards of PassivHaus, the world's strictest energy efficiency program. The standards have been applied to a few Chicago and Oak Park buildings, but Conners is the first Chicago builder to have a project certified by the PassivHaus Institute. 

While it's good for the environment to build tight buildings that use little energy, Conners says it also reduces the eventual homeowner’s utility bill by at least $300 a month.

Crain's Chicago Business reporter Dennis Rodkin does a walk-through with Conners, who shares how he’s making the house super-green.

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