Frank Lloyd Wright’s Balch House Renovation


The owner of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Oscar Balch House (Oak Park, 1911) approached TBDA to help steward the property through the 21st century, including pursuing a path to Net Zero energy.

Historic Preservation principles, building science, and decarbonization strategies are combined to maintain the integrity of the architecture while radically reducing the carbon footprint. In keeping with owner’s mission to share the project and process (see Balch House on Instagram), you can view the free webinar hosted by Illinois Green Alliance where Tom Bassett-Dilley, builder Doug Freerksen (Von Dreele-Freerksen Construction Company), and mechanical engineer Mark Nussbaum (Architectural Consulting Engineers) discussed tradeoffs, long-term planning, energy modeling, and more. We hope this leaves viewers with a better understanding of the techniques and challenges of decarbonizing historic homes while maintaining their character.


Expected Completion Date


General Contractor
Von Dreele-Freerksen Construction Company


Mechanical Engineer
Architectural Consulting Engineers


Landscape Architecture and installation
CYLA Design


Energy Use
pEUI = 1, 98.9% reduction