newer older

Near North Apartments by Helmut Jahn: Affordable, Mecha Small, Green + Modern

Night Near North Apartments

Not only is this place sustainable, but rooms are small, too.  With 96 units at an average size of 300 sf, Near North Apartments (NNA) is a pretty incredible habitat for people that deserve to live in a well-designed space.  NNA is the creation of renowned architect Helmut Jahn, who designed the single-occupant spaces for limited income, homeless, and disabled persons.  You'll notice from the images that the building generates some power through roof-mounted wind turbines, or aeroturbines.  to be precise, the building shape was conceived to maximize wind to the aeroturbines.  They were invented at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and are now being marketed through Aerotecture International

The building also uses solar thermal collectors and a rainwater reclamation system.  The water system recycles shower water to flush toilets, apparently making it one of the few graywater systems in Chicago.  NNA is located at 1244 North Clybourn Avenue in Chicago and is owned by Mercy Housing Lakefront group.  The reason I'm blogging about this structure, in addition to being an example of small, sustainable living, is because it was listed on Metropolitan Home's 2007 Design 100 list.  Congrats. 

Near North Apartments Aeroturbines

Near North Apartments Loft


Its about time we started seeing more green buildings. We've had the technology to do it for a long time. I guess it took the price of gas hitting 3 bucks a gallont to get everyone on the bandwagon. The Las Vegas area now has 3 green projects: Verge, CityCenter (HUGE) and Green Valley Lofts. Feel free to visit my site and take a look at them. CityCenter is the biggest and will have thousands of green residences on the Las Vegas strip.

Thanks for dropping by. I think it's great that green building is coming along, but it doesn't necessarily have as much to do with the $3 gas (except as it relates to sprawl & transportation of materials). The impetus in Nevada, you'll note, is Nevada's incentives to green building. Nevada allows owners to pay less property taxes. Also, water is a precious resource in Nevada and green building helps to conserve water resources.

For the readers, NNA is not in Nevada, it's in Chicago, Illinois.

Article on the architect and building:

Hi there, I am in need of some high res photos for an educational book of the Near North Apartments, the book is called "Going Green" part of a series of curriculum books, all about green living etc.

if anyone can help email me at



The comments to this entry are closed.


newer older

| home | rss | links | archives | terms | privacy |
© 2006-2010 Jetson Green, LLC - all rights reserved