Yesterday, on its 75th anniversary, Chicago's much-praised Museum of Science and Industry announced construction of a 2,500 square-foot green home, reports the Chicago Sun Times. The home, slated for the museum's east lawn, is designed to be a showcase for green living.
The 2-bedroom, 2-bath pre-fabricated house will feature a number of green building designs, including a gray water recycling system that redirects filtered sink water into the toilets. The toilets will even have two buttons to save water when only a little is needed, something that will be quite familiar to many Australian and European visitors.
The home will also have cement siding, energy-efficient LED light fixtures, insulating triple-pane windows, landscaping chips made of peach pits, recycled ceramic tiles and a green roof. It will be powered by solar and wind energy.
This "Smart Home" is scheduled to open May 8 and run through January 2009. It will cost guests $10.
This is an exciting development, because Chicago is a major world city, and the Museum of Science and Industry is an enormous draw for tourists as well as residents, particularly children. Now tens of thousands of school children will be able to see the benefits of smart green building up close and accessible.
The exhibit's location is also significant since the city of Chicago has recently been spearheading green initiatives, as was poignantly symbolized when Mayor Richard M. Daley put a green roof on City Hall.
The Smart Home was designed by architect Michelle Kaufmann of Oakland, Calif. Homeowners can get their own piece of Kaufmann's pioneering green prefab designs at $250 per square foot.
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