Living Well

Custom home builder Scott Sevon’s goal was to turn as many people as he could green after they toured his latest project, Millennium II, a spectacular showcase house in Glen Ellyn, Ill., a suburb west of Chicago.

December 01, 2001

 

Touring this $4 million showcase house in Glen Ellyn, Ill., proved to be a learning experience for the 2,000-plus people who ventured inside during the four weekends it was open to the public.

Custom home builder Scott Sevon’s goal was to turn as many people as he could green after they toured his latest project, Millennium II, a spectacular showcase house in Glen Ellyn, Ill., a suburb west of Chicago.

In this case, however, the color doesn’t refer to envy, although who could not be jealous of the eventual owner of this $4 million, 14,700-square-foot marvel with three kitchens, an elevator, an indoor pool and lanai, a putting green and a driving range? Rather, it refers to the eco-friendly way Millennium II was constructed.

Millennium II earned the distinction of being the first certified Health House in Illinois. Sponsored by the American Lung Association of Minnesota, the Health House program addresses the growing national concern regarding air quality in new homes.

 

Millennium II features a contemporary, open interior that builder Scott Sevon describes as a Florida/Phoenix mix.

Sevon enlisted the help of architect Bill Styczynski for the design of Millennium II. With this home, their 11th project together, they wanted to demonstrate techniques and materials that can improve indoor residential environments by eliminating or sealing off sources of allergens and toxins using construction techniques and products that are more energy- and resource-efficient.

Some might question how a house as large and luxurious as Millennium II, with 12,000 square feet of living space and another 2,700 square feet surrounding the indoor pool and lanai, can still be considered green. Styczynski says it’s a matter of scale. “As long as people can afford them, there will always be a market for luxury houses. We can choose to build them in an efficient manner or an inefficient manner.”

 

Volume ceilings, consistent use of flooring, and overlooks from the second floor contribute to the home's "integrated" space design.

Sevon says the techniques and materials that gave Millennium II its clean bill of health and sound environmental conscience added about 7% to its total cost. “But the buyer is actually getting a home that is 20% to 30% more efficient to operate,” he says. “When you talk to the client about how these things may contribute to a longer life span, they’re more than willing to put that money into their home rather than into that fancy car.”

He describes Millennium II’s architectural style as a “Florida/Phoenix mix” designed to appeal to the affluent baby-boomer market. The home features a variety of informal and formal entertaining zones that he calls “convertible” spaces, or rooms that can be opened to each other to accommodate large groups or closed off to establish a more intimate atmosphere.

 

The indoor pool enclosure features its own under-floor radiant heating system, which also heats the water for the free-form pool and spa.

Sevon uses the indoor pool and its relationship to the rest of the living space as an example of the floor plan’s flexibility. With doors in the living room opened, the pool area becomes part of the entertaining space. Close the doors, he says, and separate zones are established.

Another of the home’s “flex” spaces is the library. The room, decked out in floor-to-ceiling bookcases, converts to a home theater when a screen descends from the ceiling with the touch of a button.

Much of the home’s interior living space, including the living room, kitchen and master suite, overlooks the pool. The second floor features an exercise room, a full bath and a home office that could function as a secondary master suite.

 

As an extension of the home's pool recreation area, the lanai can be used year-round for informal dining and entertaining.

Large windows and volume ceilings promote a bright, airy atmosphere throughout Millennium II.

“Light and views play a very important role in this house,” Sevon says. The home features three levels of living space, including a fully finished English basement with a 10-foot ceiling.

Millennium II was completed in July 2001. Sevon estimates that more than 2,000 people toured the home during a four-weekend event sponsored by the American Lung Association of Illinois.

Builder| Sevvonco Builders Inc., Palatine, Ill.

 

The custom maple cabinetry in the kitchen features frames constructed of moisture-resistant, marine-grade plywood and drawer bottoms lined with stainless steel.

Architect | Styczynski Walker & Associates, Willowbrook, Ill.

Interior Designer | Piconke Smith Design, Woodridge, Ill.

Major Products Used | Appliances: Bosch, Broan-NuTone, Dacor, In-Sink-Erator, Maytag, Sub-Zero, Thermador | Cabinetry: Neff, Shipley, Wood-Mode | Countertops: Avonite | Doors (interior and exterior): Florida Glass & Aluminum, Masonite, McDowell & Associates, Pella, Roll-a-way | Exterior Finish: Dryvit, brick, cedar | Flooring: Kahrs International (hardwood) | Home Controls/Automation: Crestron Electronics, FutureSmart Networks, Home Systems Plus | HVAC: Wirsbo, Carrier, Chicago Pure Air Systems, Aprilaire, Second Wind Air Purifier | Insulation: Nu-Wool | Lighting: American Flourescent, Lutron | Pre-Cut Wall Panels: Walnut Custom Homes | Plumbing Fixtures: Kohler | Roofing: CertainTeed | Windows: Pella, Velux.

 

Additional pictures:

 

A circular window wall adjacent to the kitchen provides the ideal spot to enjoy a view of the indoor pool from the breakfast nook. Stacked windows and multiple sliding glass doors provide a visual and physical connection between the rooms and contribute to the bright interior that characterizes the home.
An indoor pool and lanai extends across the rear elevation of Millennium II. Multiple sliding glass doors provide access to a terraced rear patio. Although Millennium II's air-filtration and -purification system is as sophisticated as you can get, the windows really do open in this technological marvel, Sevon says. "We recognize that there will be times when the homeowner will want to open the windows and doors to bring in fresh air — although that's assuming that the air outside really is cleaner than that indoors," he jokes.

 

Also See

Tight and Bright

Breathe Easier

Floorplan: First Floor

Floorplan: Second Floor

Comments on: "Living Well"

July 2014

This Month in Custom Builder

Products

CertainTeed has added a fire-resistant 5⁄8-inch option to its Easi-Lite gypsum board line.

Features

Recent Tax Court case highlights steps custom builders can take to get better deductions for some of their indirect costs.

Email Subscriptions