BRIDGEPORT — The director of an environmentally focused charter school has bought a plot of city-owned land, hoping to turn the grassy lot into an eco-friendly home that serves as model of sustainability.
The city council earlier this month OK’d Sarah Elizabeth Ippel’s $48,000 purchase of a piece of property at 2622 S. Green St., just north of Palmisano Park.
Ippel, 32, said she’s “working on building a net-positive energy house that produces more energy than it uses."
Slated for a groundbreaking in the spring, the home will be built with sustainable materials and plans call for solar energy, outdoor gardens, a fruit orchard, an indoor greenhouse and a backyard apiary for beekeeping.
She plans to document the construction of the home and share the plans in an effort to hold up the project as a model for sustainable home building in Chicago.
For Ippel, building the green home is a chance to again practice what she has so often preached.
A Gold Coast resident, she's the founder of the Academy for Global Citizenship, a unique charter school in the Garfield Ridge neighborhood.
The school's 350 students in kindergarten to sixth grade are taught in an International Baccalaureate "Primary Years" curriculum, but the school is probably best known for serving organic meals, conducting daily yoga sessions and teaching the virtues of gardening and food production, including raising of chickens in an outdoor coop.
Like the plans for her new home, the school could soon become the first "net-positive" school in the state. Check out the plans here.
Lofty goals? Perhaps.
But Ippel said she's committed making a sustainable lifestyle attainable "on a nonprofit salary" and setting an example for others.
“My mission for the school is to create a model for city of Chicago of what’s possible in public education and integrating environmental sustainability in the way we teach and learn in the 21st century,” she said. “My mission in creating this house is much the same.”