PATH - A Public Private Partnership for Advancing Housing Technology


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Project Chronology

Demonstration Site: Habitat for Humanity - Philadelphia, PA

April 2002 - Kick-off meeting conducted; demonstration house identified.

May 2002 - House dimensions measured.

June 2002 - REM/Design analysis performed; duct layout designed; roof plan proposed. Initial recommendations, including PATH technologies, presented. Linoleum donation confirmed. Mechanical/electrical/plumbing recommendations presented to MEP contractor; roofing estimate received.

July 2002 - Structural repairs commenced. Stability of back wall certified by structural engineer.

August 2002 - Back wall parged. Construction start ceremony delayed due to finalization of house sponsorship. Floor joists installed for back bedroom and kitchen. Optimum Value Engineering (OVE) framing techniques training rescheduled.

September 2002 - OVE framing techniques and air sealing training conducted. Potential conflict with installing extruded polystyrene rigid insulation under modified bitumen roofing identified.

November 2002 - Framing is about 95% complete. According to the construction manager, the house will be ready for MEP rough-in, roofing, and window installation shortly. The affiliate has raised some concerns about installing a full 6" of insulation on the roof, as recommended by PATH. It would entail raising the party walls, treating the pressed metal façade in some manner, and procuring expensive 8" fasteners. To resolve this issue, PATH has proposed installing 4" rigid XPS insulation above the roof decking and 2" rigid XPS insulation directly below the roof decking. The desired insulation level (R-30) could still be achieved, while avoiding the problems mentioned above. In addition, the affiliate is still having some difficulty getting the donated XPS insulation from the local drop-off point and will contact other distributors for the material. PATH has also been informed that by mid-2003, all four Philadelphia HFH affiliates will merge into one. It was also affirmed that this demonstration project will be used as a model for the new affiliate's future projects.

December 2002 - The construction manager for South Philadelphia HfH resigns. Daryn Edwards, the chair of Design and Construction Committee will be contact until a replacement is hired. Decisions made to install a modular manifold plumbing system with PEX tubing, as well as an ENERGY STAR ® bath exhaust fan.

January 2003 - Half of the low-e, insulated glass windows are installed. PATH provides technical assistance and on-site supervision of the installation of the roof insulation, fiberboard, and roofing. Don Cerra, the current construction manager (CM) of North Philadelphia HfH will be CM when the four Philadelphia HfHs merge.

February 2003 - PATH provides HfHP with REM analysis results and warranty information on their standard high efficiency condensing gas furnace heating system, as well as three radiant heating systems; HfHP chooses the radiant heating system. Installation is almost complete.

March 2003 - PATH provides Don Cerra with information about slag concrete, low-VOC paint, and structural drywall corners. Radiant heating system and water distribution system are installed.

Despite an unrelenting March rain, more than 30 builders, architects and housing agency representatives gathered in a Philadelphia rowhouse to take in the latest technologies that are beginning to change the face of affordable housing. Entitled "Rethinking Rehab: Building Better, Building Greener" the tour was designed to show visitors an innovative approach to urban rehab during the construction of a 1,200 square foot rowhouse in South Philly. Sponsored by the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH) and Philadelphia Habitat for Humanity, the event allowed builders and other visitors to observe advanced framing techniques, insulation practices that far exceed code requirements, and many innovative technologies that enhance housing quality and environmental performance while keeping costs down. Read more.

April 2003 - Electrical and plumbing rough-ins is complete and drywall is being hung. PATH coordinates linoleum installation training with Forbo Industries.

May 2003 - Drywall installed and Stucco applied to the back exterior wall. PATH coordinates with HfHP on the selection of linoleum colors for the house.

June 2003 - Fiber-cement siding donated for this project will be installed at a new construction site in north Philadelphia. PATH coordinates logistics for linoleum installation training.

July 2003 - The house has been painted. The date for the PATH linoleum installation training with Forbo Industries has been set for July 8, 2003. Don Cerra, Director of Construction, requested PATH's assistance in researching Philadelphia's energy code requirements.

August 2003 - Representatives from Forbo Industries gave linoleum installation training to over fifteen HFHP construction staff and AmeriCorps volunteers on July 8, 2003. Due to lack of funds, PATH was informed that construction will be delayed from late July to early September. HFHP is having difficulty finding a homeowner for the house because of its location. Without a homeowner, 1026 Colorado Street is not a priority for completion.

September 2003 - Don Cerra, Habitat for Humanity of Philadelphia's Director of Construction, stated that there is still a funding gap, which prevents them from completing the house. Also, a homeowner for the house has not been selected. With a new class of eight AmeriCorps volunteers and two new construction managers, they have the staff to complete the project when there is authorization to do so.

Content updated on 9/15/2004

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