3018 W. Armitage, Chicago Map
The Sanders Company
Swiss Design Group
Green Armitage is a new five-story residential building, with a first-floor commercial space and eight 1200-1300 sf residential units above. The project has been under the eye of Chicago green building fans for a while, but appears to be finally off the ground (nearly literally). This is the rare developer-driven, market rate residential project that gets green right - starting with an emphasis on energy efficiency, then considering additional features. The building is designed to beat the latest energy code (2006 IECC) requirements by 80%, and is nearly certain to qualify for at least a LEED Silver certification (but is targeting Platinum!).
A significant amount of the energy savings results from use of the ELFI wall system. This is a panelized wall system comprised of steel studs encased in expanded polystyrene foam (e.g. styrofoam). Green Armitage is the largest project we've seen in Chicago using this new product, made by a locally-based manufacturer. As we've discussed before, the market for high-performance wall systems is still wide-open, especially for residential construction. Generally products this new are seen on smaller projects, so kudos to ELFI for scoring this one. Let's hope to see more developers willing to try alternative wall systems.
Additional energy efficiency comes from the more typical high-efficiency furnace and A/C, instantaneous water heaters, and heat recovery ventilators. Adding up to more than 50% over energy code (2003 IECC) requirements qualifies the project for a federal tax deduction for the developer. Because the bar is so high, few Chicago-area developers have taken advantage of this incentive - this project demonstrates that it is achievable.
The project includes other typical green features such as a green roof, low-VOC paints, and sustainably harvested wood. Paperstone, a countertop product made from recycled paper, is a nice inclusion which we haven't yet seen used by developers (or at least actively marketed). Other project team members include energy consultant George Sullivan of Eco Smart Building and Celeste Karan of Keller Williams Realty.