Greenest House

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - 8:07am

Chicago is home to one of the greenest houses in the country.

It’s one of the greenest homes in the country, rated the most energy efficient in Chicago, all thanks to the determination and sweat equity of Jacek Helenowski.

Helenowski grew up in this home as a boy, and now he's turned this twin house next door into the award winning energy efficient dream home.

It's not cheap to build a top-of-the-line energy-efficient home, but by doing the work himself Helenowski managed to build his green dream house for only $80 a square foot.

The dry wall is recycled.

The insulation is made from soy beans.

And the ceiling is made from a burned-out Chicago building.

"Over 90% of the project is reclaimed from fires and from the old building. If you were to buy that it'd be a lot of money," said Jacek Helenowski, the owner of the “green” home.

That determination and sweat equity paid off in a net-zero energy home.

"It has zero energy use. It creates as much as it uses. So it is the ultimate of what we need to get to," Congressman Mike Quigley said.

While not everyone can pull this off to this degree, Helenowski feels this go green pioneering will pay off for future generations.

Though the Helenowski's home is extreme green, we all can begin with baby steps such as using energy saving light bulbs, adding insulation and switching to high efficiency appliances.

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