PATH - A Public Private Partnership for Advancing Housing Technology

Project Chronology

Demonstration Site: Cameron Park Colonia - Brownsville, TX

October 2001 - PATH contacted YouthBuild for list of projects.

November 2001 - PATH contacted Brownsville Community Development Center's (BCDC) Nick Mitchell-Bennett, upon suggestion of YouthBuild.

December 2001 - PATH requested letter of commitment and other information in preparation for Level 1 PATH funding request to HUD. BCDC sent letter of interest.

January 2002 - Steven Winter Associates (SWA), on behalf of PATH, signed non-disclosure agreement. HUD gave go-ahead to proceed with project, subject to approval by HUD colonia advisors.

February 2002 - SWA's Gordon Tully and Alex Grinnell traveled to Brownsville to meet with BCDC, observe construction practices, see completed colonia house; evident possibility to improve framing, HVAC, glazing.

March 2002 - PATH submitted report on energy tradeoffs that showed several energy-saving technologies that would be feasible without raising ownership cost.

April 2002 - PATH submitted report on the PATH technologies that might be used in the project.

May 2002 - PATH received negative response to suggestion to Owens-Corning to perform research in non-vented roof with OC fiberglass insulation and roofing.

June 2002 - PATH completed preliminary framing drawings; needed further engineering; looked as though major savings would be possible in framing costs. BCDC sent materials list for colonia house; first response to request for info after busy period. BCDC preferred single "all stops out" package to incremental approach to the demonstration homes.

July 2002 - PATH completed simplifying revisions to colonia house plans, preparatory to final set of framing drawings. PATH completed the final wind code package. PATH's decided to seek engineering stamp on package by Texas-certified engineer; planned to "spend" framing savings on advanced energy-saving measures.

August 2002 - PATH sent calculations to Simpson Strong-Tie for engineering approval and stamp.

September 2002 - PATH received stamped engineering drawings. PATH revised framing drawings and submits drawings and calculations to BCDC to seek building department approval.

October 2002 - CDCB reviewed plans; PATH made some changes and the plans were sent to the county building official on October 28th, 2002 for review.

November 2002 - Media Plan submitted. CDCB secured the services of a local engineer, who stamped the drawings. CDCB was in the process of qualifying two families for home ownership.

December 2002 - CDCB and PATH worked together to finalize the list of energy improvements and PATH technologies to be included in the prototype(s); definitely included: SEER-14 air conditioners, increased insulation levels and low-e double-glazing.

January 2003 - Gordon Tully visited CDCB in Brownsville to go over the details of construction with YouthBuild. Closing was postponed until the first week of February.

February 2003 - Title had not yet cleared for the target homeowner.

March 2003 - Title still not cleared, expected closing date delayed until April 1, 2003.

April 2003 - Batter boards were set for foundations. A teleconference occurred with PATH, CDCB, and HUD regarding plans for a ground-breaking/ribbon-cutting event scheduled for the last week in June.

May 2003 - Gordon Tully visited the colonia home currently under construction and answered questions. Due to unavailability of the specified SEER-14 unit, a SEER-12 unit will be used. PATH made a minor change to plans because "ladders" at intersecting partitions in the outside wall did not work with required gypsum board nailing.

June 2003 - Gordon Tully visited the site to address construction problems with the attached carport roof. Tully oversaw a "technology ribbon-cutting." CDCB was sending PATH a letter of interest for additional work on affordable housing for Mexican-American families.

On June 25, 2003, local builders and officials were given a tour of the unfinished home after a ribbon-cutting ceremony to showcase the PATH technologies being placed in the home. Read more.

August 2003 - PATH revised drawings to incorporate changes agreed to at site visit. PATH contacted a structural engineer in Brownsville for further refinement and to clarify conflicting requirements between IRC and Texas wind code. CDCB investigated the use of trusses and rejected them as too costly on a small home.

September 2003 - The initial Youthbuild home was nearing completion, being held up for want of a crimping tool to complete the installation of the PEX piping at the fixtures. The second home, built by contractor DeLeon, had been completed, and would be occupied soon. Several other colonia homes were in the pipeline.

Content updated on 9/13/2005

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