DWELLING Spaces + Places Helps Build Evanston’s First LEED Certified Home

June 26, 2018 Published by Leave your thoughts
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Evanston LEED home

DWELLING Spaces + Places founder Drina Nikola and Dana Pearl, the owner of Evanston’s first LEED certified house.

DWELLING Spaces + Places is excited to announce that the 2018 GreenBuilt Home Tour will include Evanston’s first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) platinum-certified home, a project that our team has helped complete. The tour – which will take place on July 28 and 29 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. –  includes exceptional, nationally recognized and award-winning Illinois homes that showcase affordable, attractive and sustainable building practices.

Designing Evanston’s First LEED Home: How We Became Part of the Project Team
DWELLING Spaces + Places first got involved the construction of Evanston’s first LEED house about three years ago when our founder, Drina Nikola, met the client/homeowner, Dana Pearl. DWELLING Spaces’ services lined up with the client’s desire for a new one-story house built with both aging in place and the environment in mind. Evanston-based Kipnis Architecture + Planning and Chicago-based Eco Achievers were also involved in creating the 3,225 square foot eco-friendly home.

Even before hearing about this project, Drina helped develop sustainable environmental practices for her church and her hometown. For example, she co-wrote Evanston’s LEED Ordinance for Construction.

LEED is the most widely used green building rating system globally and creates a framework for cost-saving, highly efficient, and healthy green buildings. LEED projects can earn points across nine areas that cover aspects of green buildings. Based on the number of points earned in those categories, a project gets one of four rating levels: certified, silver, gold, or platinum.

With its LEED platinum status, the house at 1426 Mulford St. in Evanston is not only the city’s first LEED home but also has achieved the highest possible level of certification.

LEED house

Part of the interior of Evanston’s first LEED certified house. Photograph by James Caulfield © 2018


The Process: Reaching the Highest LEED Level
It’s not easy to reach the highest level of LEED certification, and the DWELLING Spaces + Places team worked hard to meet all of the client’s needs. The project involved plenty of investigation and research to find the right materials, appliances, and plumbing fixtures, as well as achieve the right lighting. For example, non-glare lighting is optimal for seniors to help them avoid tripping and falling, so it was important that the lighting in the home met not only energy consumption standards but was also ideal for aging in place.

Additionally, per the client’s specifications, all of the materials used were made in the U.S. Sustainable features of the Pearl residence that our team tackled included the following:

  • Flooring – all hard surfaces
  • Cabinetry in the kitchen, kitchenette, laundry room, and master bath
  • Countertops
  • Eco-friendly electrical lighting and ceiling fans (100% LED)
  • Appliances
  • Doors and door levers
  • Exterior paving

For a full description of all of the green aspects of the home, please visit the GreenBuilt Home Tour website.

Additionally, Drina helped manage the construction process, including establishing a schedule and arranging weekly meetings for everyone involved to ensure everything was completed in a timely manner. She notes that having a strong team is key for anyone looking to successfully carry out a LEED construction project.

The finished home will not only benefit the client and the environment but can also serve as an example for others looking to learn how to construct LEED certified buildings. If you’d like to visit the house, tickets are available on the GreenBuilt Home Tour website.       

The DWELLING Spaces + Places team guides retirees, seniors, and families through the process of transitioning to a new lifestyle or home environment. To learn more about our services, please call 847-769-2412 or email drina@dwelling-sp.com.

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