<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=209258409501153&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Design Banner

The Right Conditioning

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Dec 1, 2013 10:45:00 AM

2013 Green Home of the Year Awards
Best Behind the Walls - Chicago, IL

The Chicago area's first passive solar house eschews a traditional HVAC system.

INSTEAD OF A traditional HVAC system, two wall-mount, mini-split heat pumps—one on each floor—condition this airy modern home. The Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) mixes and distributes the air “like a Vitamix for air,” says builder Brandon Weiss.

The 3,598-square-foot house is a certified PHIUS+ Passivhaus,  with a structure of insulating


concrete forms (ICFs) and a HERS rating of 27. The project team asserts that it’s the first Passivhaus in Illinois.

Along with energy efficiency, the homeowners were concerned with healthy living. All products were screened for their effects on indoor air quality. The non-traditional HVAC also needs no ductwork—removing a common location for dust accumulation. Third-party indoor air quality (IAQ) testing was conducted post construction, and will continue through the first year of occupancy. The home will serve as a case study for a new certification program, now in its pilot phase: The Healthy Home Initiative.


Chicago Passivhaus Floorplan

  • Passivhaus Main Interior

    Project Stats

    Name: Chicagoland’s First Certified Passive House—River Forest, IL 
    Builder: Brandon Weiss, Weiss Building & Development 
    Architect: Tom Bassett-Dilley Architect  
    Landscape Architect: Dig Right In 
    Interior Designer: Tom Bassett-Dilley & Kristin Taghon of Cadmium Interiors
    Photos: Brandon Weiss

    To receive the next Call for Entries click here.

  • Passivhaus Chicago

    First of its Kind

    A tight envelope is important in a passive house. This 3,598-square-foot house is a certified PHIUS+ Passivhaus, with a structure of insulating concrete forms (ICFs) and a HERS rating of 27.

  • Passivhaus Kitchen

    Easy Breathing

    Tops from Cambria are made from a quartz resin that has many of the characteristics of stone, without the environmental cost of importing. Cooking smoke is a major contributor to indoor air problems. Every kitchen should have a quiet, efficient hood. All floors, cabinets, and other walls are carefully finished with water-based, low- or no-VOC products that will not contribute to indoor air pollution.

Share This 

© 2020, Green Builder Media. All rights reserved. This article is the exclusive property of Green Builder Media. If you would like to reprint this content, you are free to extract a short excerpt (no more than 1/4th of the total article), as long as you 1. credit the author, and 2. include a live link back to the original post on our site. Please contact a member of our editorial staff if you need more information.

Connect with us on social media

facebook Instagram-logo1.gif twitter youtube linkedin pinterest 

Related Content

Tall Mass Wood Timber Ebook

Subscribe to Design Updates

2020 Green Home of the Year Awards

New call-to-action

2016 Homeowners Handbook Green Builder

New call-to-action