We are the Lewandowski family and we're building a new house from the ground up. Our goal is to build a comfortable and efficient green home that works for our family. We want to prove that building green is the right choice for the environment, our lives and our pocketbook.

We invite you to come follow us during our adventure and learn along with us, how to build and live green.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Chicago Magazine and WGN Radio

Last month Tony and I were invited to our friend Kevin Williams' company holiday party.  We've gone before and it's always a fun evening.  We struck up a conversation with Dennis Rodkin, a journalist for Chicago Magazine and significant other to Kevin's star attorney, Jessica.  He was interested in our house and you know us, we love to talk about it!  This past week we gave him a tour of the house while he interviewed us and took photos for an article in Chicago Magazine on-line. I was glad Tom Molidor was able to make it for the interview too.  If you would like to read it, click HERE.

Dennis also asked Tony to be part of an interview with John Williams of WGN radio.  Tony did a great job sharing some of what he's learned about building green.  If you would like to hear the interview, click HERE.

Thank you Dennis for helping us spread the word about building green!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Cultec and Dig Right In

Managing rainwater on the property is an important aspect of building any structure.  Some of you may already know of the lengthy discussion we have had with the Village of La Grange's Department of Building and Zoning on just this subject.  After many months we have come to an agreement thanks to the tireless work of our landscaper.  They will allow us to use a Cultec System as designed and installed by Jeff Swano of Dig Right In Landscaping in lieu of their required system of large pipes and stone.  Our engineers provided a stamped design using the Cultec System and Jeff and the Village further 'tweeked' it and installed their version.  It made it in the ground just before the first frost.  WHEW... we were worried it wouldn't make it in before the ground froze.

By using CULTEC chambers, rainwater is collected in inlet structures and piped to an underground retention/detention system. The chamber systems control roof and driveway run-off thereby eliminating ponding.  The collected water then dissipates underground.  If you want to learn more about the system, you can visit their web-site at http://www.cultec.com/

After the system was installed, the grass was laid.  Again, just in time for the first frost. Apparently we were the last sod cut of the season.  Thank you Freyja Conrad of Dig Right In for your help and coordination with the grass, patio, etc.

The thing that bothered me about these systems as they were designed in the beginning of the project, was neither the Cultec or the Village's preferred system with the big pipes left us much planting space for a tree or shrubs.  What ended up being installed was a bit more of a compromise and we were able to get a decent size silver maple in the yard.  We really like how pretty it is when it's in bloom and it's a tree that sucks up a lot of water; a natural way to manage rainwater pooling should there ever be any.

If you want to know more about Dig Right In and all their services, click on the highlighted link and check out their website or give them a call at 708-485-1234.  Ask them about their rain gardens too.  I wish we had room for one of them!

The LaGrange Patch

There was an article in yesterday's LaGrange Patch about our house.
Click HERE if you would like to read it.
Thank you Matthew Hendrickson for taking the time to write about what we are up to!