William Scholtens and green home plans

The best moment of the past year for architect William Scholtens and his four-member Elements Architectural Group? When they heard that a Lincoln Park home they’d designed had been awarded the LEED Platinum rating—the highest green designation, rarely given for residences. Scholtens says they used local materials, focused on air quality, and installed solar panels. And instead of plopping a huge wind turbine on the roof and spotlighting it with LEDs, Elements went beautifully subtle, proving to architects and future clients alike that green living can be elegant. Now the firm is moving on to the next step in its greening-the-world mission: affordability. “So far, green homes have mostly been for the wealthy,” Scholtens says. “We’re going to show that green homes really can be done for the middle-income bracket—and the results can be warm, dry, and noble.” Plans for such a home are shown above. Elements Architectural Group, 205 Superior St., Oak Park, 312-363-8175, elementsarchitects.com


Photograph: Millicent Wong