Yannell Residence

Distinguished Building Award Submission

The Yannell Residence is Chicago’s first LEED for Homes Platinum and first net-zero energy building – producing more energy than it consumes over the course of a year. Designed through what project architects call “environmental expressionism,” the building’s physical form responds to it sustainable design features.

The floor plan is segmented into two east/west volumes to maximize solar penetration and aiding in natural ventilation. The butterfly roof conceals photovoltaic panels, gathers rainwater, and provides appropriate solar shading. The courtyard creates views of scenic outdoor rooms and a wildlife habitat from all of the light-filled interiors. Massing allows complete solar access by stepping from the southern single story wing to the second story bedroom wing to the north. Geothermal and solar thermal systems, an innovative plenum wall, and radiant floors all help heat and cool the home.

Though the house is filled with cutting-edge sustainable systems, the home’s aesthetics are modern and chic rather than utilitarian. Sustainably harvested wood is finished in rich stains, colorful porcelain tile and glass accent the home, and gallery reveals where walls meet the windows and doorframes create sophisticated spaces. Recycled content finishes such as countertops and floor tiles complete Chicago’s most sustainable residence.

Farr Associates
Dr. Michael Yannell
  • dbHMS
  • McKay Landscape Architects
  • Senffner and Associates
General contractor
Goldberg General Contracting
Chicago, Illinois