Man's dream to live in NU solar house clears major hurdle

Artists rendering of NU's solar house "Enable"

Jerry Brennan heaved a sigh of relief Tuesday night after Evanston's Zoning Board of Appeals agreed to variance requests to let him locate the new Northwestern University solar house on his lot on Lincoln Street.

Jerry Brennan addressing zoning committee

Brennan said he now hopes he can move into his new solar-powered house before the end of this year.

In approving the request Chair Mary Beth Burns said this was a great opportunity for the city to partner with Northwestern and the public benefit outweighs the zoning issues. 

Brennan's current house on the golf course

Brennan's current house at 1402 Lincoln St. will be torn down to make way for the solar-powered home that was designed and built by a group of Northwestern students.

The house took several honors at last month's Energy Decathlon in Denver, including first place in market potential and student choice award for "Most Awesome House."

With the zoning issue resolved, Brennan is optimistic the deal with Northwestern can be finalized and building permits with the city arranged.

NU's "Enable" solar house in Denver. (Dick Co photo)

Once the permits are in place, it won't take long for the house to be installed.  It took just nine days to set it up in Denver for the competition.

Brennan approached Northwestern about purchasing the house shortly after learning they were looking for an Evanston lot near the campus that was horizontal and faced south.  Brennan's house sits on the edge of Canal Shores golf course. He thought the lot would be perfect, and Northwestern agreed. The deal to purchase includes an agreement with the University that students can occasionally tour the house for educational purposes.

Relatd stories

Evanston resident to live in NU's solar-powerd house (10/9/17)

NU student group unveils solar-powered home (8/24/17)

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