Wis Tavern gets first LEED for Homes Gold in Illinois

October 01, 2007 |

Located in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood, the Wis Tavern building on Wabansia Ave. had been a popular bar for nearly 40 years. Today, however, the same two-story brick building is home to a completely different enterprise: a living and workspace for the owners and founders of independent record label Smog Veil Records. Smog Veil's offices are on the first floor, and owners Frank and Lisa Mauceri's living quarters are on the second. In September, Wis Tavern was awarded the first, and currently only, LEED for Homes Gold certification in Illinois.

The original structure was completely renovated over 14 months, and is now an energy efficient live/work space. Chicago-based Wilkinson Blender Architecture worked with the clients to make the refurbished facility more eco-friendly. Currently, Wis Tavern is the first and only single-family residence to use rooftop wind turbines (bottom right) and solar panels (below), in addition to geothermal heating and cooling, to generate its own electricity. The turbines, 30 solar panels, and 15 geothermal wells will generate 10,000 kW of electricity—half of the building's needs—per year.

Eighty percent of the materials torn out of the original structure were either recycled or reused. Other green features include: a green roof (top right); drywall consisting of 99% recycled material; low-e insulated glass; energy-efficient appliances; and, in an homage to their record label, terrazzo flooring made from recycled glass and pulverized vinyl records.

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