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Illinois Gets Its First Department of Energy 'Challenge Home'

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The state's first ultra-eco-friendly U.S. Department of Energy "Challenge Home" just finished sprouting in Downers Grove. The 3,600 square-foot house, a project of Weiss Building & Development and Tom Bassett-Dilley Architect, is decked out in the latest green goodies including an underground storm water system, high efficiency windows, return air circulation in most rooms, exterior plywood sheathing to prevent heat loss, and sustainably harvested floors, among its other crunchy attributes. And yes, it has the curb appeal of every other cookie-cutter suburban new-build, with a similar footprint and auto-centric design. No one has to know about your leanings.

As the 27th of these Challenge Homes to go up in the country (the program, which requires some pretty stringent measures, started in 2008), the house has also nabbed the National Association of Home Builders Green Building Emerald award, their highest green certification, and at $135 per square foot, wasn't even all that outrageous to build cost-wise.

With the Green Building Council's GreenBuilt Home Tour coming up next month, we imagine there'll be plenty more where this came from?
·DOE Challenge Home [US Dept. of Energy]
·Weiss Building & Development [official]
·Tom Bassett-Dilley Architect [official]
—Gwendolyn Purdom