The 2,500-square-foot exhibit home originally was open from May 2008 through January 2009. During that time, it welcomed more than 100,000 guests on guided tours that showcased the ways, big and small, that people can make eco-friendly living a part of their lives. During that time, the Smart Home -- designed by Michelle Kaufmann Designs and built by All American Homes -- was given the designation "Chicago's Greenest Home" after a comprehensive review of the home's plans, materials and design by the City of Chicago's Chicago Green Homes Program.
The home's update and fresh look for 2009 includes a bold color scheme, new furniture, the addition of a "green" baby nursery, a space-maximizing hallway office, new cutting-edge technologies, wind power, earth-friendly and city-friendly landscaping ideas-and much more. And as before, guests are still able to view and hear about the latest innovations in reusable resources; smart energy consumption; clean, healthy-living environments and easy ways to go green.
For more information, go to www.msichicago.org
- Place furniture near natural light sources; it uses less electricity
- Run off can carry toxic chemicals into nearby lakes, streams. Encourage rain and snow water to seep into the ground rather than wash away. Use permeable materials like gravel/woodchips for walkways and borders
- Harness the power of the sun. Consider adding solar appliance charges, solar cookers and rooftop solar panels to your home
- Recycle! Recycling just one aluminum soda can saves enough energy to power your TV for 3 hours!
- If you're planning to purchase new materials for your home consider bamboo, cork or natural linoleum flooring, FSC-certified wood cabinets or recycled glass