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House Tour: Sustainable living in Downers Grove

Imagine being able to reduce your combined energy consumption of gas and electricity more than 700 percent while still living comfortably in the Chicago area. Downers Grove resident Michael Moats did just that. Moats, with Lois Vitt Sale, the chief sustainability officer for Wight & Company designed a house that only consumes 7.44 kBTUs per square foot per year—the average Midwest house expends 57.45 kBTUs per square foot per year.

Dining area Moats’ home is filled with Energy Star appliances, including a ConServ refrigerator, which only draws 47 watts.

Main interior The house was designed with a “daylight-first” strategy and high-efficiency lighting, like the use of LED lights.

Mechanics Moats has a tank-less hot water heater, which only operates when the water is needed and a three-ton geothermal heating and cooling system.

Solatube A Solatube Daylighting System is used to bring natural light into the house without the common hassles that are associated with traditional skylights.

West exterior

South exterior Houses are generally built parallel to their streets, but Moats’ home sits at an angle, maximizing daylight and solar gains from the three-kilowatt solar array on the roof.

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