Chicago townhouse achieves LEED platinum luxury with support of home-owner association

[youtube=]From Chicago Tribune writer Pamela Dittmer McKuen: "Kathie and Art Howe decided to redo the kitchen in their 25-year-old North Side town house. They hired an architect and a general contractor, and the foursome started talking.  Someone suggested replacing the three-story staircase, which was wrapped in claustrophobia-inducing drywall.  Someone else mentioned green construction.  Next thing you know, the Howes moved out, and the town house was stripped down to studs and subfloor. "The four-bedroom town house is one of 62 units clustered around a wooded courtyard.  The association board has been a significant member of the construction team.  Opening the roof to put in a larger skylight would have invalidated the association's existing warranty, for example. But the board did some research and found that if the Howes used the original installer to do their work, the roofing manufacturer would hold the warranty.  In another instance, when the interior drywall was removed, several areas of water infiltration were discovered. Those problems were the board's responsibility, and it took almost immediate steps to remedy them, so the Howes could continue with their work.

"The Howes' renovation is believed to be the first gut rehab of an attached town house in the Chicago area, and possibly in the country, to seek LEED platinum status, said Jason La Fleur, regional director for the Chicago-based Alliance for Environmental Sustainability and the LEED consultant who is working with the couple on their certification.  They credit general contractor Brian Anderson of Echo Development for building their point total.  'In Chicago and in America, there is a lot of sustainable focus on new construction, but the question is, what to do with the 100 million or so units that exist,' said the Howes' architect, William Scholtens of Elements Architectural Group."  Full article here, and other good article here.