LJC is designing the most prominent example of Passive House sustainability in Chicago. This project (formerly known as 3831 W. Chicago) is targeted for improvements under the city’s Invest South/West community improvement initiative to re-activate one of the key commercial corridors on Chicago’s West Side. It will encourage investment in adjacent blocks by offering a vibrant development where Humboldt Park residents can live, shop, and socialize.
The project’s design concept is centered around community and cultural wealth-building. It features a partially covered outdoor plaza that links to community and café spaces within the building and a flexible community outdoor area to the south. Together, these spaces offer indoor-outdoor opportunities for gathering, discussion, celebration, and other cultural activities in the neighborhood.
The architectural character is derived from a monolithic form carved to offer residents a series of outdoor moments. Stepped terraces highlight the center of the Chicago Avenue façade. To the west, the building overhangs the plaza, offering protected space and visible surfaces ideal for displaying community art. The result is a transformative project that acknowledges Humboldt Park’s cultural and artistic heritage yet establishes its identity and defined sense of place.
The development will aim to achieve enterprise green communities plus certification and will be the largest building in the City of Chicago to integrate passive house design standards. The standards will be achieved through a thickened wall assembly, high-performance operable windows, solar panels, and an energy recovery ventilator system. These design systems will contribute to occupant comfort, indoor air quality, and affordability of operations.
The 750 N. Avers Ave. project is PHIUS Design Certified and achieves the PHIUS goals by creating a haven of clean air and energy efficiency within an air-tight, continuously insulated building envelope clad with a woven, textured facade.
Beginning with insulated framing, it is wrapped with 6” of continuous Mineral wool insulation board and patterned with GFRC panels and Masonry, all hosted by thermally broken clips. Each window aperture hosts a set of high-performance, steel-reinforced Intus Windows.
The PHIUS boundary includes the East and West lobby, amenity spaces and corridors, where lighting was assessed with energy modeling. The high-performance envelope maximizes user comfort and air exhaust by providing pre-conditioned air that is tempered through rooftop units. This all-electric building is lowering its carbon footprint through material selection by limiting energy demands and wrapping it all within an air-tight envelope and strategic appliance selection.