Energy efficiency backed by guarantee at Green Armitage

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Several new developments in Chicago tout improved energy efficiency through green building – but none until now has backed it up with a guarantee.

Green Armitage, 3018 W Armitage Ave, is an eight-unit development in Palmer Square engineered with a number of green components, including efficient insulation, recycled construction material and improved stormwater systems that keep runoff out of the city’s storm drains.

The developers (The Sanders Co., Eco Smart Building and Celeste Karan) believe so strongly in the energy efficiency of the new development that they’ve cast down the proverbial (green) gauntlet: Under normal everyday use, buyers’ energy bills will not exceed $600 for the first two years.

Now, we’re not too sure what exactly constitutes an energy bill at this new development (electricity and gas? water too?), but it’s refreshing to see a green project designed around performance – as opposed to form.

We’re particularly intrigued by Green Armitage’s online FAQ, which helps buyers understand why the developers eschewed more showy green components in favor of tried-and-true efficiency upgrades.

Are there solar panels?

No. And here’s why…

Currently, the addition of a PV system is not cost effect for either the builder or the buyer. The technology for PV (photovoltaic) panels is rapidly improving. In a very short time, there will be panels available that produce much more energy more efficiently and cost less than what is now on the market. Green Armitage is “pre-piped” to allow easy addition of a solar panel system when the technology has reached a point at which it is cost effective for the condo association to purchase one. Patience now will pay big dividends in the near future.

Green Armitage exceeds ENERGY STAR efficiency standards by about 90 percent, according to its Web site, and the entire project is attempting to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The project’s eight three-bedroom units start in the $390s; delivery is expected in fall 2008.

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