A Chicago architecture professor has completed a steel-framed house wrapped in a marine-grade plastic on a half-acre site in the northwest suburbs. He listed it for sale late last week at $549,000.
A visible grid of rectangular panels wraps the exterior of the three-bedroom, 2,200-square-foot house in Keeneyville, an unincorporated area near the Chicago suburb of Roselle. They're made of a "high density polyethylene — plastic — that is meant to take harsh weather," said Alphonso Peluso, who designed the house and is a studio associate professor of architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
The plastic is a 'rain screen,' or exterior skin, that conceals the building's steel frame and layers of insulation, Peluso said. The steel is visible inside the house as roof trusses that span the open-plan rooms.
In a neighborhood of mostly conventional homes, "somebody will want to be the pioneer with a bespoke house that isn't what all their neighbors have," Peluso said.