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Title - R&D - Site DemonstrationsTitle - ArrowSmall

Paterson, New Jersey

Demonstration Site: Better Home, Better Planet Showhouse

PATH will be partnering with BASF to create the Better Home, Better Planet Showhouse. Located on an empty lot in an existing neighborhood in Paterson, this infill project consists of a single-family home that will be fully accessible. After the construction and demonstration phases of this project are completed, the home will be donated to St. Michael's Housing Corporation, a local, nonprofit charitable organization. St. Michael's Housing Corporation will then turn over the home to Richard Sosa, an 11-year-old quadriplegic, and his family to occupy.

Accessible design will be integrated into all aspects of the house. A lift will be in the lower level next to the garage. This will allow Richard to have access to the main floor. In the back of the house an accessible porch will connect to a raised grade level made from the excavation of the basement. A rubber covering that is wheelchair-friendly will allow Richard to access his backyard.


This innovative house will demonstrate advanced building technologies through collaboration with Grad Associates; the City of Paterson, New Jersey; Monotech; and KBI Construction. Grad Associates of Newark, New Jersey is providing the architectural services for the project in conjunction with consulting and review by PATH and BASF.


The three-story house will demonstrate a basement made from insulating concrete forms (ICFs), Monotech walls for the first floor, and structural insulated panel (SIP) walls for the second floor and roof. Precast concrete planks with a radiant floor heating system will be on the first and second floors. A cool metal roof will include an integrated solar panel system. BASF and Grad Associates have been willing to incorporate many PATH technologies.

PATH is assisting partners in identifying an efficient HVAC system and duct layout that integrates with the innovative structural and architectural design requirements of this home. In addition to the energy-efficient building envelope and HVAC system, the house will have ENERGY STAR qualified appliances and will be ENERGY STAR rated.

Download PDF files of the floor plans and elevations:

Basement Plan

First Floor Plan

Second Floor Plan

Front and Rear Elevation

Status Updates

January 2005 - Coordination between Dawn Solar systems and PATH continues. PATH is developing a system to integrate the solar system with the domestic hot water system and boiler. PATH has designed 2 systems to demonstrate the alternative. The final system will depend on the configuration between the domestic hot water tank, boiler, and storage tank. Grad Architects is gathering electrical load information for PATH on the medical equipment needed for the home owner, the elevator, and security system. This information will help PATH design the emergency backup system that Equinox is providing for this project.

December 2004 - Planning and progress continues on the BASF/PATH house. Collaboration with team members has allowed open communication for this PATH technology packed project. A new member to the team is the Florida Solar Energy Center. They are donating a monitoring system that will be tracking the energy performance of the house. This information will be accessible through a web site. PATH has spoken to the lighting designer at Philips Lighting to recommend energy efficient lighting in the form of compact fluorescent bulbs.

Project Chronology

Content updated on 1/19/2005

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