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It's a Smog World After All!


Not long ago I was visiting my old hometown of Chicago, walking through the streets of Bucktown on my way to my favorite bar (Map Room) when I noticed a cool house on Milwaukee Avenue near Hoyne. This “cool” house had a garden and two wind turbines on the roof (if I had the dough I would purchase two as well–leave ’em alone on the roof and hope they’ll procreate!). I slowed my gait to check the place out. I sought no more info, as I was excited to get to Map Room.

This weekend, a few months after my trip to Chicago, I was returning some books to my local library. They have a “free magazine” rack near the door so I stopped and grabbed a gardening magazine and a few National Geographics from 2007. When I got home I began flipping through the October 2007 National Geographic which highlights the pros and cons of ethanol (for more read this post from Gas 2.0), and there on the page right after the table of contents was an Ameriprise Financial article about the place I walked past in Bucktown a few months earlier. It is the home of Frank and Lisa Mauceri and their record company Smog Veil Records.


Turns out, it is also the first LEED for Homes gold certified home in Illinois (8th in the country)! Receiving such a lofty status is no easy feat. The steps to LEED certification included: re-using reclaimed wood from the pre-existing roof, adding two wind turbines, a solar array, a roof garden, and 15 geothermal wells.

On top of that, 80% of the waste from the renovation was recycled by Chicago’s Recycling Services Incorporated. Of course, the record company, housed under the same wonderful green roof, is going to follow suit. They plan to publish a “green report” that will give stats on how the various energy features in the building are performing. Smog Veil also intends to phase out paper use in marketing materials, relying instead on computer downloads to serve the same purpose.

Little did I know when I walked past that Bucktown building a few months ago that it had so much greatness blooming inside and above. And to find it all out in a free magazine I took from the library this weekend made this blog almost as fun as a trip to Map Room.

All of the clean technolgy involved in the renovation of this home/office more than allows me to post this on our Cleantechnica blog, and I hope Frank and Lisa drop in and check out the post. But they may be bummed to find that the name Cleantechnica, and the url is already taken.

It would’ve been a great Smog Veil Records band name.




Image Credit: Chicago Tribune and Michael Tercha.

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is an Environmental/Political cartoonist for Planetsave, Elephant Journal, Wend Magazine, Twilight Earth, Ecopolitology, EcoSnobberySucks, and more... Joe also does a kids enviro-toon called Hank D and the Bee on EcoChildsPlay and NaturalPapa. Joe lives in University City, Missouri and spends his free time with his beautiful wife, enthusiastic daughter, and curious toddler of the same name. He also enjoys writing, drawing, painting, walking, biking, skateboarding, gardening, reading, listening to music, playing sports, and watching plays (especially the plays his wife's site-specific theatre company, Onsite Theatre puts on).   Visit Joe's online cartoon gallery at


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