Final Report (PDF) July 2003
The Vistas at Kensington Park is an urban infill subdivision project in Dallas, Texas constructed by Carl Franklin Homes. The project was funded through a partnership between HUD, the Dallas Affordable Housing Coalition and the City of Dallas Housing Authority. The goal was to provide low-income families a first opportunity at home ownership, by providing an extremely energy efficient and durable home at a very reasonable price. Buyers purchased the Kensington Park houses for about $85,000.
The homes feature compact layouts of about 1,250 square feet with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a single-car garage. Their standard design includes Structural Insulated Panel (SIPs) construction for walls and roofs, and Geothermal Heat Pumps to achieve energy efficiency. Other features include cathedral ceilings in most rooms (made practical by the SIPs panel construction), fully equipped kitchens, brick veneer street facades, and fiber-cement siding. As they constructed homes in Kensington Park on Dallas' lower east side, Carl Franklin Homes agreed to demonstrate some of their innovative systems during construction for the International Home Builder's Show held in Dallas in January of 2000. The NAHB Research Center also worked with the builder to incorporate and perform field evaluations on the following additional PATH technologies:
Tankless Water Heaters were installed throughout the Kensington Park site, and a side-by-side comparison with a conventional tank heater was set up in a house in Plano, Texas. Initial results suggest that the tankless heaters can reduce energy costs by lowering standby heat losses. Monitoring will continue for approximately one year.
Structural Drywall Corners were used in five houses. After installers became familiar with the product, they found the corners easy to use with good results. The rigid outside corners added significant durability in traffic areas.
The builder used a Decorative Concrete Floor Finish in one house. This technique provided an attractive, low-cost finish surface with greater durability than typical affordable floor coverings.
See the project profile for construction photos and status.
Content updated on 11/20/2006