Widler Architecture Celebrates Chicago’s First Residential LEED® Platinum Certification for 119-Year-Old Heritage Home

This is the first Platinum Certified LEED® v4 for Building Design and Construction for Homes and Multifamily Low Rise housing projects in Chicago. 

CHICAGO, December 1, 2021—Widler Architecture is proud to announce the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has awarded the LEED® Platinum Certification to the Newman Residence. This is the first Platinum Certified LEED® v4 for Building Design and Construction for Homes and Multifamily Low Rise housing projects in Chicago. 

The 119-year-old Chicago home will be honored during a plaque ceremony on December 1.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Certification is the most widely used green building rating system globally and is recognized as a symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership. To achieve LEED® Platinum certification, buildings must attain a score of 80 or more on a 100-point scale that measures environmental impact. Platinum level is the highest distinction for LEED® certified buildings. The Newman Residence scored 83 points through efficiency measures, smart location, and quality indoor air features. 

Originally built in 1902, the Newman Residence is a testament to the homeowner’s commitment to transforming an older home into a healthy and efficient home within the constraints of an urban environment. This achievement in sustainable design and heritage home renovation proves older homes can be energy efficient and use healthy, modern materials while still preserving their historic charm.

With the mission to create a traditional, yet comfortable environment, the collaborative effort included a sustainability consultant, Robyn Vettraino from Verde, LLC. Vettraino is a LEED Accredited Professional with a Homes Specialty, who has been working on LEED for Homes projects since 2007.  This is the second collaboration between the two Iowa State University Architecture grads. The first was for LEED Certification of Widler Architecture’s Principal, Brent Widler’s family home. This streamlined the Newman Residence Platinum Certification because the duo was able to build on the previous experience. 

“There were a lot of things we had to do to retrofit this historic home to bring it up to the highest level of sustainability we could,” said Widler Architecture founder Brent Widler. “Everything we did was looking towards the future to make this home sustainable for this family, the next family, and so on.” 

All lighting fixtures and mechanical systems were thoughtfully replaced to hit the efficiency, health, and comfort goals of the Newman Family. In addition, windows were replaced, locally sourced materials were used wherever possible, including natural stones and local drywall, all while achieving a 92% construction recycling rate. 

“Our homes are the most important places in our lives, and the condition of our homes can have a big impact on our health, the environment, and quality of life,” said Peter Templeton, president, and CEO at USGBC. “LEED-certified residential projects like the Newman Residence in Chicago are examples of how we can build environmentally friendly spaces where families can live healthier, more sustainable lives.” 

The plaque ceremony will be held at the Newman Residence on December 1st and will include a visit from USGBC Regional Director, U.S. Market Transformation and Development, Lana Crouse.