PATH - A Public Private Partnership for Advancing Housing Technology

New York, New York

Demonstration Site: Habitat for Humanity - New York City

Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) is a nonprofit organization that engages volunteers and would-be homebuyers in programs that emphasize sweat-equity and self-help. New York City (HfHnyc) completed three projects co-funded by PATH, the New York State Energy Research Development Authority (NYSERDA), and HfHnyc. The goal for all the housing was to achieve an ENERGY STARŪ (or better) rating.

[IMAGE: Volunteers working on the house September 2002]

[IMAGE: Rowhouse under construction September 2002]

The three projects included: 20 units of affordable owner-occupied housing in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn; 13 similar units in the Bronx; and two small multifamily buildings in Harlem, completed in 2003.

HfHnyc initially needed engineering feasibility and technical assistance for building and occupant energy use, indoor/outdoor lighting, building envelope, mechanical ventilation systems, Energy Management Systems, and heating/cooling/DHW distribution systems.

HfHnyc's goal was for the homes to do more than achieve ENERGY STAR levels of efficiency. The organization also wanted the homes to perform better than the most recent building of this type completed in Harlem, which was performing at 14 Btu/ft2/HDD for heating at the time.

The principal elements of PATH's assistance on this project include:

Dedication Event

On August 9, 2003, city officials and Habitat for Humanity-NYC staff ushered in an era of revival in the depressed Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, where Habitat built 20 affordable, ENERGY STAR qualified rowhouses. These homes offer an estimated 25% reduction in utility bills when compared to similar housing, and are healthier, safer, and higher quality. Read more about the August 9th event.

PATH completed a detailed review of a Harlem 12-unit condo rehab for Habitat for Humanity NYC (HfHNYC). As part of the review, PATH found that for an increase of less than $12,000 in the building, energy costs for heat and hot water alone would be over $6,800 less. This does not include the increased efficiency for ENERGY STAR lighting and appliances.

At Habitat's Brooklyn Marcus Garvey/Willoughby single-family attached homes, their board of directors met to view the components of their first ENERGY STAR model home. The model was open to the public for 60 days.

PATH performed the ENERGY STAR rating of the 20 single-family attached homes in Brooklyn, and an additional 10 single-family attached homes in the Bronx.

In February, 2005, city officials and Habitat for Humanity-NYC staff closed another 13 rowhouses in the Bronx. These homes offered used technology similar to the rowhouses in Brooklyn with some small refinements. All houses had sealed combustion boilers with a hot water storage tank, Energy Star lighting and appliances, an upgraded insulation package, many sustainable materials, low VOC caulks and paints and a skylight and lightwell to decrease the need for electric lighting.

Building on the technologies used in the Brooklyn Homes, the Bronx homes achieved a new level of quality for Habitat-NYC. The homeowner's 30-day punchlist items consisted mainly of small cosmetic issues like straightening cabinets and touching up paint and caulk. All of the PATH technologies went in without a single callback.

Status Updates:

This project has been completed.

Project Chronology

Content updated on 7/17/2006

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