Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on May 15, 2008
The Windy City just isn’t windy enough for Frances Whitehead and James Elniski. After investing $40,000 in wind turbines, the savings to them is only about $500 a year. In case you weren’t a math major, it’s going to take them 80 years to pay it off. Fortunately for the environment, Frances and James just don’t care.
Part art project, part science project, part office, part home, Frances and James have built what they consider the house of the future. Frances and James have no doubt that, in the future, the systems they’re using for energy and water collection will be standard. They’re both artists, and they consider their home DuChamp in reverse — bringing objects away from the realm of art and creating a highly functional house. Their friends tease them, saying it’s the biggest sculpture they’ve ever done.
The main green features are the wind turbines, photovoltaic panels, xeriscape green roof, custom cistern, low flow and energy appliances, floors from diseased trees and geothermal heating, to name a few. The “greenest” feature is green painted bricks at the front of the house.
And the owners, of course! James and Frances want to save the planet — at their own expense — and their house is a beautiful example of their lifestyle. It’s not art for art’s sake, it’s “G” for “G”’s sake.
For more on Whitehead, Elniski and their amazing house, check out this New York Times article.