Holyoke, Massachusetts

advice, guidance, support, results

Demonstration Site: Churchill Homes, HOPE VI

Final Report April 2002

PATH, with financial assistance from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, rebuilt a distressed inner city neighborhood as a partner in HUD’s HOPE VI program.

The Holyoke, MA site consisted of 219 World War II era public housing units that have suffered significant levels of deterioration over the years and were scheduled for demolition. In their place, HUD, PATH, and the Holyoke Housing Authority (HHA) designed and constructed 272 energy- and resource-efficient townhouses and flats. Of these, approximately two-thirds are owner occupied, with the remainder designated as rental units. Some of the properties were constructed off site in order to decrease population densities and allow for inclusion of common areas. Phase I, completed in 2000, included 50 rentals and 60 owner-occupied dwellings, a park, and a community center. The development was named Churchill Homes, based on its location in the Churchill Section of Holyoke.

Now complete, Churchill Homes serves as a PATH demonstration project, showing builders and developers throughout the region that ‘low-cost’ doesn’t have to mean ‘low quality’. One of PATH’s primary objectives as a partner in the HOPE VI program is to prove that affordability can go hand in hand with solid, dependable value in housing.

Stetch designs of the churchill townhomes.Preliminary designs for the project were based on turn-of-the-century Victorian housing that defines much of New England’s traditional architectural character. However, the new townhomes and flats incorporated a list of 21st Century construction technologies identified by PATH as key components of durable, affordable, and energy-efficient housing.

Products, systems, and design/construction methods planned for the project include:

Optimum Value Engineered (OVE) framing that lowers construction costs while making the most of available resources;
Insulated headers (load-bearing components at tops of windows and doors);
Pre-cast insulated concrete foundation panels;
High performance windows;
Low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints and finishes;
Universal design kitchen cabinets, bathtubs, and showers for improved accessibility;
Drywall clips and stops that eliminate unnecessary blocking and improve perimeter insulation;
Pre-finished drywall corners that speed construction time and enhance visual appearance;
Humidity-sensing ventilation control systems that improve indoor air quality and reduce energy use; and
An overall energy efficient performance based on computer energy modeling and analysis.
Status Update:

This project has been completed.

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