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Thursday, October 16, 2008

The New Lenox Patriot - New Lenox's Local Newspaper


Green home tour in St. Charles to benefit Advocate Lutheran General Children’s Hospital

submitted by ERIK
October 14, 2008 | 02:18 PM




(click for larger version)

People who like to "think green" can help chase away the blues for sick children by attending "Changing the World Together," an estate tour of the ultimate green home located at 6N558 Kim Lane in St. Charles—the proceeds of which will benefit Advocate Lutheran General Children's Hospital in Park Ridge.
Scheduled for Saturday, November 8 from noon to 7 p.m. and sponsored by Robert Lord Builders and Baird & Warner Real Estate, the estate tour charity event will include several exciting highlights for attendees:
• An appearance by Dan Hampton, former Chicago Bears defensive lineman and Hall of Famer, who will be available for pictures and autographs between noon and 2:30 p.m.
• An "ultimate green" expo hosted by builder Robert Lord and his team of environmental vendors, set for 2:30 to 5 p.m. Lord will begin a press conference at 2:30 p.m. that will highlight the amazing features of his one-of-a-kind, eco-friendly residence, which is designed to yield astounding energy savings as well as pamper occupants with lavish appointments and high-end amenities. Additionally, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital's engineering team will discuss their facility's new "green" patient tower—the first of its kind in Illinois.
• An organic wine tasting slated for 5 to 7 p.m. Attendees can sample a variety of organic wines, learn the fundamentals of wine tasting and hear from the experts what makes a wine organic.
• A silent auction of valuable items, which will be conducted throughout the day between noon and 6:30 p.m.
Admission to "Changing the World Together" is $15 in advance (to register and purchase tickets, visit or $20 at the door. Proceeds will benefit the hospital's Midwest Children's Brain Tumor Center and other special pediatric programs.
"Brain tumors are the leading cause of death among children with cancer, and damage from the tumor and side effects from treatment can severely impact a child's quality of life," said Lord. "The Midwest Children's Brain Tumor Center is on the cutting edge of new technologies, treatments and services to minimize these side effects and complications and assist more children in need. But they need our help."
The goal of the benefit is to raise at least $50,000 for the hospital, Lord said.
"By attending our event on November 8, not only can you help us raise funds for The Midwest Children's Brain Tumor Center, but you can gain valuable tips on green building and energy efficiency that can be applied to your current or future home," said Lord. "If you want to see the exciting direction that green building is headed toward, it's worth your while to see this home. Plus, you'll be able to ask questions of my environmental vendors and the hospital's engineering staff to learn everything you've always wanted to know about sustainable development, green materials and improving energy efficiency."
Lord said he's proud to partner on the event with a fellow green builder. Advocate Lutheran General Hospital is currently completing construction on a new eight-story, 192-room patient tower—on pace for completion in June 2009—that is seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Lutheran General would be the first hospital in Illinois to achieve this demanding national standard that assures environmental responsiveness, resource efficiency and community sensitivity.
"Studies have shown that LEED-certified buildings create a high-performance healing environment for patients and hospital staff," said Mary Kozil, director of development for Advocate Lutheran General Children's Hospital. Kozil noted that the new tower will feature a green roof with low ground-cover plantings; rain gardens to promote storm water irrigation; ultra-energy efficient mechanical and electrical systems; recycled, locally produced and rapidly renewable materials; a special meditation garden; and a green building visitor's center.
"We're thrilled that Robert Lord Builders chose our Midwest Children's Brain Tumor Center as the beneficiary of this charitable event, which will greatly help the children we serve," Kozil added. "This was a perfect partnership because Robert shares our philosophy about building with environmental responsibility in mind."
Lord's ultimate green home also boasts a number of green highlights, including:
• An underground geothermal heating and cooling system by ClimateMaster that provides a renewable fuel source to maximize energy efficiency and eliminate carbon monoxide. The result? Up to 75 savings in heating and cooling costs and three times more efficiency than fossil fuels.
• Closed-cell foam insulation—a spray-applied polyurethane foam by Honeywell that offers a higher R-value (up to R-24 vs. the typical R-13 in the walls and up to R-72 vs. the usual R-38 in the ceilings) than traditional fiberglass products (typically R-13), prevents mold growth, restricts moisture transmission and increases the home's structural strength. Its use is estimated to reduce energy costs by up to 75 percent and lower wasteful air infusion by 40 percent.
• DuPont's Tyvek low-E ThermaWrap and AtticWrap throughout the house, which achieves an energy savings up to 15 percent. The former helps keep radiant energy that accumulates in the wall sheathing from releasing to the exterior during the winter, and reflects radiant heat out of the wall via its metalized surface to cool the interior in the summer. The latter is a revolutionary breathable membrane that helps create an airtight seal to reduce air leakage and energy loss through the roof. These products shed water away from the entire building envelope.
• Low-E, ultra-efficient windows by Hurd throughout the home. These windows have a DP (design pressure) rating of 55—up from the industry average of 40—that indicates an extremely well-built product built to withstand extremely high winds. The Hurd windows also offer an exclusive climate guard SPF of 99.9, which means that it blocks virtually 100 percent of all UV rays.
• A hybrid septic system that uses an aerobic digester in tandem with a raised sand filter, which reduced the size of the septic field by half and helped save several trees in the process. The aerobic digester also helps decrease the time it takes for waste matter to decompose, making it an earth-friendly system.
• A hybrid water well that uses a variable-speed pump (operating at multiple speeds of performance based on need) and a constant-pressure demand technology; the system's pressure tank is up to 75 percent smaller than the size of a traditional tank—saving space, water and energy.
• Two self-replenishing in-home waterfalls by Napoleon (one measuring 3' x 6' in the master bathroom, the other measuring 2' x 3' in the foyer) that purify and hydrate the air, thus eliminating the need for a separate air filtration system and separate humidifiers.
• Two whole-house, stainless steel water heaters by Polaris that are 95-plus percent efficient and connected to the geothermal system.
• Direct-vent, high-efficiency, sealed-unit fireplaces by Napoleon, linked to forced-air ductwork, that can heat up to 3,000 square feet in the home using combustible outside air for extra efficiency; the kitchen fireplace is also a cooking source.
• A dual-fuel hybrid kitchen range by Wolf that runs on natural gas and electricity, designed to yield substantial energy savings.
• Hybrid electric toilets by Kohler that also function as bidets and minimize water usage unlike any product seen before.
• Energy Star-certified home with Energy Star-rated appliances, ceiling fans and other products that actually exceed Energy Star standards.
• A backyard fiberglass pool and spa that uses Pentair equipment: an earth-friendly sand filter; an EasyTouch computerized network; IntelliFlo variable-speed, computerized pump that works depending on the need; InteliChlor generator that produces chlorine for a saltwater pool that eliminates the use of environmentally harmful chemicals; ThermalFlo heat pump that produces all the heat for the pool and spa to condition the heated water using air and electricity, similar to the underground geothermal system (this heater is designed to reduce energy consumption by up to 75 percent compared to a gas-forced heating system and eliminate its carbon footprint); and energy efficient fiber optics for lighting.
• Carpeting and carpet padding by Shaw made from recycled materials.
• Low-VOC wall paints by ICI that reduce the amount of toxic emissions into the air.
• LED lights exclusively in the kitchen, which use a fraction of the wattage of CFL bulbs and last up to 15 years.
• An eco-paver driveway by BellGuard that employs permeable paver stones for efficient water drainage; this special product takes all the runoff water and recharges the earth as though the driveway doesn't exist.
• Environmentally sensitive plumbing fixtures.
• Millwork created from the native species of trees that had to be cleared from the site to make room for the house.
• The trees removed from the site were recycled.
• The Hooving recycling company reused or recycled 75 percent of the construction waste.
"In planning this home, we wanted to question everything throughout the process to ensure that what we were doing would significantly reduce the residence's carbon footprint without sacrificing on quality or comfort," said Lord of the Energy Star-certified abode. "We approached its design and construction with a 'pay-it-forward' philosophy. What that means is that we incorporated the newest and greatest green systems and technologies that are intended to pay for themselves within a short time due to their efficiencies."
As a result of his painstaking efforts, Lord's custom creation stands as a groundbreaking and impressive example of a custom luxury home that doesn't have to be small, simple or modest to be "green" and renewably responsible. In fact, the home spans a total of approximately 15,000 square feet—yet the living spaces are resourcefully cooled, heated and insulated with components that can boast unheard-of energy savings.
The "Changing the World Together" event planners are seeking sponsors, advertisers and donors to help fund this worthy cause planned for November 8. For more information on sponsorship and advertisement opportunities or to donate to the silent auction, call (815) 603-0541 or e-mail
Located on lot #2 at 6N558 Kim Lane in the Red Oaks subdivision—off Denker and Silver Glen Roads in St. Charles—Lord's ultimate green home is priced at $4.8 million and available for immediate delivery. For more details or to schedule an appointment to view the property, call Christopher Fischer, Dawn Recchia or Colleen Rauch from Baird & Warner at (630) 377-1855. For more information on Robert Lord Builders, Inc., call (630) 584-9009 or visit

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