Exemplifying the new horizon of beautiful sustainable living is a modern solar lake house in Lake Zurich, Illinois.
Befitting a residence surrounded by nature, this home is inspired by and, importantly, powered by nature. Expected to be completed in fall 2018 and recently featured on the 2018 GreenBuilt Home Tour (greenbuilthometour.org) in July, it’s in the final process of construction right now, allowing for a stage-by-stage look at all that goes into creating sustainable luxurious homes.
Designer Nathan Kipnis FAIA of Kipnis Architecture + Planning in Evanston and founder and core member of NextHaus Alliance, fuses nature with stunning surroundings and modern amenities in this 6,185-square foot home, built on a pie-shaped lot overcooking scenic Lake Zurich.
Design elements underscore and reflect shapes of nature, with features like a large curved window wall that integrates into the structure for an unobstructed view of the lake.
Nature is at the core of the home in terms of energy derivation. To reduce the use of fracked natural gas, natural gas is used only as a starter for the fireplace and for a backup generator. The rest of the energy, including the power for the ultra-efficient HVAC system, hot water tank, dryer and induction cooktop, are derived from a 9.8 kW solar photovoltaic roof mounted array, with the remaining power coming from certified renewable energy credits from the electric grid.
The environment is top of mind in other elements of the home, including high-efficiency correctly-colored LED lighting, siding made from waste fly ash, interior finishes and materials that are eco-friendly and healthy, smart home integration to efficiently control the various systems, careful deconstruction of the existing home for reuse, and many other environmentally efficient techniques and materials.
While the home is energized by the sun, it’s also flooded with light. Operable skylights above the great room encourage natural ventilation. With the exception of bedrooms and bathrooms that necessitate privacy, rooms are open to one another to further enhance natural ventilation.
To see other examples of residences that are both resilient and grand, designed by a collaboration of home industry experts that are part of the NextHaus Alliance, visit nexthausalliance.com.