For Lisa Elkins of Chicago-based 2 Point Perspective, sustainability happens when all the parts of a design contribute. Here the LEED-accredited architect peels apart this Kenilworth, IL, kitchen to reveal its sustainable layers.
1. We worked with the client to select materials that were modern, beautiful and durable and that they would want in their home for years to come. Low volatile-organic-compound (VOC) paints were used to contribute to a healthy indoor air quality. The tile has a recycled content, and we utilized quartz countertops, which do not need chemicals for maintenance and are incredibly durable — especially important for a young family of four.
2. Windows and natural light were another important sustainable feature of this kitchen. Having a connection to the outdoors, and seeing green plants and sunshine are important for people. The high windows let in a lot of diffused natural light, which also cuts down on energy usage for lighting.
3. With sustainability as our core focus, we always have an eye out for new eco-finishes. Our Head of Interiors, Jenny Lewis-Jones, was manager of the material library at the Chicago Center for Green Technology. She has used this background to expand our product library. Some of our current favorites are Mosa tiles, which are Cradle-to-Cradle Silver-certified; Revolv tiles, which are locally made from more than 80 percent recycled content; and Textura 3-D Cork, which makes wall tiles of rapidly renewable cork that look great and help absorb sound.