Low Carbon Design with Budget in Mind


Basic Level
70min Webinar 1-2 Hours

Join us for a mid-construction virtual home tour where you will meet the architect and home builder to review this project

Course Overview

This custom-built home is walkable - just over a mile from downtown Evanston-  and is being built with the high-performance third party standards of the DOE's Zero Energy Ready Home program, Energy Star for Homes, and notably, the EPA's Indoor Air Plus certification that  provides for a healthier indoor environment with fewer contaminants and a better quality of life for the family that lives here.

The high- end aesthetic is coupled with high-end performance with an advanced water protection system under the home, 7 inches of recycled cellulose insulation in the walls, and solar panels on the roof to power a large percentage of the home's electric use.

We will discuss why owners did not go all-electric as the architect typically uses in his design due to cost barriers. We will  review a novel behind the wall’s system that slows thermal bridging.


Nathan Kipnis, FAIA, LEED BD+C - Founder + President, Kipnis Architecture + Planning

Nathan Kipnis, Kipnis Architecture + Planning, Founder + President

Nathan is one of the most respected national authorities on resilient, sustainable residential and commercial design, who practiced the architectural philosophy of 'High Design/Low Carbon™' long before it was in vogue. He is immediate past national co-chair of the AIA’s 2030 Commitment Working Group and is a member of the AIA’s national Sustainability Leadership Group.

Recognized as Chicago’s premier award-winning sustainable architectural practice, Kipnis Architecture + Planning, founded in 1993, has offices in Evanston, Illinois and Boulder, Colorado. Kipnis also is founder of NextHaus Alliance, a unique team of premier design and build firms committed to incorporating sustainability and resilient designs into their residential projects. NextHaus Alliance serves the Chicago and Lake Geneva areas. "Architectural design excellence must seamlessly incorporate the principles of sustainability, resilience and wellness," Kipnis says.


Scott Sanders, Bright Leaf Homes, President

Scott Sanders, Bright Leaf Homes, President

"As a home building executive with an interest in sustainable practices in both business and my personal life, I have found that my strength is in facilitating getting things done by bridging the gap between the ideal plans and the shifting reality of rapidly changing situations, projects, and businesses climates."

Learning Objectives

After completing this course you will be able to:

  • Describe healthier home design and construction using the Indoor Air Plus program

  • Articulate the financial challenges to all-electric home design

  • Understand the basics of new ideas to stop thermal bridging and energy waste the walls

  • Review the benefits of DOE Zero Energy Ready program which benefits the welfare of the nation

Credit Values

Earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) 1 Hour in: 

  • Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI)
  • Building Performance Institute (BPI)  Non Whole House
  • American Institute of Architects - AIA (HSW)
  • Certified Green Professional (NARI & CGP)
  • Certified GreenHome Professional (CGHP)
  • American Institute of Building Design (AIBD)
  • State Architect / Builder License may be applicable