The Smart Sustainable Home That Has it All
The Eco-Smart Homes by DJK Custom Homes are a series of distinctive custom homes that are designed and constructed to prove that sustainable, healthy, and efficient living is possible in homes that are both functional and beautiful.
A multitude of technologies and advanced products are incorporated in each Eco-Smart home built by DJK Custom Homes. Areas of focus include sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor air quality, and innovative design and practices. Occupants of any of DJK’s Eco-Smart homes can be assured that they are living in a home that is healthy for their family and the environment.
The Grand Teton Eco-Smart Home by DJK Custom Homes
This Eco-Smart Home by DJK is a one of a kind custom home situated on a beautiful two-acre home site in the highly acclaimed town of Naperville, Illinois. The DJK Custom Homes Smart Sustainable Home was designed by the Kittilsen brothers and their team to push the limits of home building and prove that sustainable, healthy, and efficient living is possible in a new home that is aesthetically appealing.
The Grand Teton Eco-Smart Home is the first of its kind in the Naperville area, as this home is the City of Naperville’s very first residential home to be built to this level and very first LEED Platinum home to be certified in Naperville. The home is currently pending LEED Platinum level certification, as well as NAHB Green Emerald level certification. The Eco-Smart Home has received National Wildlife Federation Backyard Wildlife Habitat program certification, EPA Indoor Air Plus certification, and ENERGY STAR 3.0 certification.
Property & Landscaping
When designing the Grand Teton Eco-Smart home, the DJK team envisioned more of a nature preserve than a home site. DJK worked to minimize environmental impact from the start, including during lot selection.
DJK selected a home site that would best suit their vision for a natural yard with food, cover, and water for the area’s wildlife. The lot also had city sewer and water within 30 feet of the lot, so it was easily accessible without having to disturb the community.
Permeable paving materials allow water to pass through and filter into the soil instead of running off into the sewer systems. All paving surfaces on this home site have a deep gravel base which allows water to filter through and into the ground.
DJK believes that restoring natural habitat is an important part to maintaining our eco-system. The Eco-Smart home was designed with a beautiful yard that would attract wildlife from the area and give them a place to thrive. The backyard will be certified by the National Wildlife Federation as a Certified Wildlife Habitat.
Throughout the building process, DJK worked hard to protect existing trees on the property as well as to prevent soil erosion. Early in the process, DJK used silt fencing to prevent soil erosion and fenced off all existing trees to prevent from damage due to construction activities. Storm sewer inlets were also protected through the use of straw bales.
Traditional lawn turf requires a great amount of watering and mowing. Not only are you using water but you are also burning fuel and causing pollution with a traditional gas lawn mower. DJK chose to install no-mow grass seed from Prairie Nursery. This grass is a blend of several different fescues, which helps the turf to be drought tolerant. The turf also grows minimally and requires no mowing!
One of the goals that the DJK Homes team had for this project was to minimize material waste and be as efficient as possible with construction materials. DJK used many advanced building techniques in the eco-smart home in order to reduce environmental impact and increase efficiencies.
Certainteed Recycled Content Drywall
Recycled materials were one of the focuses of the Eco-Smart project. This home used a combination of two types of drywall: AirRenew drywall from Certainteed, and a fully recycled drywall from Certainteed for the garage.
Reclaimed Barn Wood Beams
DJK homes wanted to go after a rustic northwest style home inside and out. On the interior of the home, large beams reclaimed from a barn dating back to the 1800’s were used as decorative features.
Recycled Content Cellulose Insulation
Cellulose insulation beats fiberglass insulation in all areas. Cellulose insulation is more energy-efficient, healthier, and is recycled. The cellulose insulation used in this home contains a minimum of 75% recycled content. The recycled content consists mainly of recycled paper.
Bamboo Strand Hardwood Flooring
The Grand Teton home features distressed bamboo strand flooring. Bamboo strand is a much harder product than oak and is green due to the fact that bamboo grows rapidly and is able to be replenished at a much faster rate than traditional hardwoods. The bamboo flooring came to the site pre-finished which helped to achieve a low-voc environment.
Energy efficiency was a core focus in the Eco-Smart home’s design. All of the home’s energy needs are be supplied by the 11kw roof-mounted solar array. Energy efficiency is achieved in this home through a combination of insulation, efficient mechanicals, Energy Star appliances, Low-e windows, and insulated building materials.
11kw Solar Array
DJK’s Eco-Smart Home houses one of the largest residential solar arrays in the state of Illinois. This system from Independence Renewable Energy consists of 40 Suniva solar panels and 40 Enphase microinverters that produce an astonishing 11kw of power, enough to run the entire home. The system produces an excess amount of energy during the day to be sold back to the electrical company.
Pella 350 Series Low-E Triple Glazed Windows
In order to maximize energy efficiency and reduce heating and cooling needs, the Eco-Smart home was built with one of the most efficient windows in the industry. The windows insulate the home well and lower heating and cooling costs.
ENERGY STAR Appliances
All of the appliances in DJK’s Eco-Smart home are ENERGY STAR-rated, meaning they use far less power than traditional appliances. The induction range in the kitchen is a highlight. Induction cooking allows for precise temperatures while greatly reducing the amount of electricity used.
Plumbing Pipe Insulation
All hot water pipes in this home were insulated with a blown-in cellulosed insulation. This prevents heat loss while hot water travels through the plumbing locations to a shower or faucet.
The DJK Homes team knew that the Eco-Smart home had to be every bit as efficient water-wise as it was energy-wise. In order to achieve great water efficiency while not breaking the bank, they incorporated many great water-saving features throughout the home and conserved water during the building process as well.
Delta Low-Flow Touch20 faucets
All of the faucets in this home utilize Delta’s unique Touch2O technology. The faucets are excellent at conserving water, and can be turned on and off just by touching anywhere on the faucet (great for messy hands!).
Delta H20 Kinetic Shower Heads
More water doesn’t always mean a better shower. With the help of Delta’s H20 Kinetic technology, each bathroom has its own unique water-conserving shower head. These shower heads utilize a spinning motion which provides a feel of more water than is actually being used.
Rainwater Diversion for Irrigation
The natural landscape of the Eco-Smart home was designed to utilize natural irrigation from rainwater for plants and trees. A swale runs down the side of the lot bringing plenty of water to over a dozen trees.
Each bathroom in the Eco-Smart home features a Mirabelle water-conserving dual-flush toilet. These toilets use only .8-1.6 gallons per flush, greatly reducing overall water usage.
Indoor Air Quality
Many home owners and builders overlook or ignore the importance of healthy indoor air quality, and the DJK team wanted to avoid that mistake in every way possible. At the Eco-Smart home, excellent air quality was one of the most important goals. The team envisioned a home that would provide a healthy place for a family to spend their time and be assured that their home was not causing health risks.
No-VOC Paints and Stains
All paints and stains used in the eco-smart home contain absolutely no harmful chemicals. The paints and stains have been carefully selected in order to promote the absolute best indoor air quality in the home.
Pre-Finished Hardwood Flooring
All of the hardwood flooring in this home arrived to the home site pre-finished. By pre-finishing the hardwood floors, the DJK team eliminated the introduction of harmful fumes and chemicals and allowed the finish to cure before bringing it into the home.
Energy Recovery Ventilation
The energy recovery ventilation unit is perhaps the most important system in the Eco-Smart home in regards to indoor air quality. The ERV constantly exchanges stale air while bringing in fresh air from the outdoors.
Air Filtration System
The home’s air filtration system effectively reduces pollen, dust, pet dander, mold spores, and dust mites, as well as other things such as bacteria, smoke, smog, and other allergens.
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As a discerning green homeowner, every choice you make involves a variety of factors. And floors are no exception. You have to love how it looks, like how it feels on your feet, trust that it cleans up without too much effort and lasts a long time – and since you care about the planet that we live on….it needs to be healthy and eco-friendly, too.