Furnace-Free House


Inside and out, this is a complete “green” house. Designed using Passive House methodology with energy consultant CTI, the house achieves 70% better energy performance than a new built-to-code house, while stylishly fitting the block. Walls and roofs were constructed from 12” Structural Insulated Panels, and triple-glazed Loewen windows completed the high-performance thermal package. Materials and fixtures were selected for efficiency, recycled content, local production, non-toxicity, and durability. Landscape design uses native plantings, a water garden, and permeable paving. As an all-electric house, it uses heat pumps for space conditioning and water heating, and features a pellet stove for supplemental space heating.



General Contractor
Onewatt Construction


Energy Consultant
Conservation Technology International


Structural Engineer
Ingenii LLC


Third-party Testing and Verification
Green Dream Group


Hausman Photography


Chicago Tribune, May 28, 2019, “Chicago winter without a furnace or gas bill: Passive houses make it possible and are slowly catching on”
Chicago Tribune, February 18, 2011, “No furnace, but the heat is on”
Green Community Connections.org, February 2012, “Green Architecture & the Future of Ecological Design”