The four-bedroom, 3,800-square-foot house has good aesthetics, high ceilings (10 or 12 feet), complemented by doors that are eight feet tall. The master suite, above, feels like a very luxurious hotel room.

List Price: $1.25 million
The Property: This newly built house is up-to-the-minute in two ways: its sleek, airy design is very contemporary, and many of the materials and methods that went into its construction are sustainable.

The house stands on a short, semi-secret street just one block off vibrant Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park. The builder, a company called House Plant, and the architect, Brent Norsman, wrapped the outside with zinc and cedar siding. For the interior, they used a long list of green items: bamboo floors, paints and stains that have few or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), heat-trapping triple-pane windows, tankless water heaters, dual-flush toilets, and some countertops made of recycled glass. Inside the walls, the frame construction uses wood that is mostly from Forest Stewardship Council–certified sources, and the insulation is soy-based. There is a wood-burning fireplace that can be connected to the home’s heating system, and the developers have even installed rain barrels, an item that even some serious environmentalists can only wish they had.

Not only does the house have three different green roof areas (one above the garage and two atop the house itself), but, as the video tour reveals, these are nicely landscaped green roofs. Two of them in particular—a section of rooftop that has flowering prairie plants and the garage roof with a raised lawn—are more like “garden roofs”: the plantings weren’t picked merely to reduce the heat island effect but to create compelling outdoor areas as well.

The four-bedroom, 3,800-square-foot house has good aesthetics, too. High ceilings (10 or 12 feet) are complemented by doors that are eight feet tall. The master suite feels like a very luxurious hotel room, and there is a cedar-walled porch off two family bedrooms on the second floor.

Price Points: You would think the one-two combination of green items and good looks would set this house apart, but the glut of homes for sale is pronounced in Wicker Park. A buyer looking at the $1 million–plus offerings there has at least 53 choices right now. This home’s location gets a B grade—all the best of the neighborhood is nearby, but the block is just a bit grungy—and that’s probably been holding it back.

Listing Agent: Ivona Kutermankiewicz of Koenig & Strey GMAC, 773-360-3088;