Washington, D.C.

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Demonstration Site: University Place Cooperative

Final Case Study Report August 2005

Washington, D.C.’s Public Housing Scattered Site Demonstration Project targets public housing units that have deteriorated over the years and have become inhabitable. To pursue this work, seven nonprofit developers in the District have formed the Homeownership Group to take title to approximately 75 units, which are being rehabilitated for sale to first-time homebuyers as affordable housing.

One of the nonprofits, Manna, has developed nearly half the units–36 in total–as part of this program.

Project Description

PATH’s Demonstration project with Manna at the University Place Cooperative is part of the Scattered Site program. It is located in the Columbia Heights neighborhood in Northwest DC. University Place Cooperative encompasses the rehabilitation of 15 units. The finished rehab includes 5 one-bedrooms, 7 two-bedrooms and 3 three-bedrooms-all of which incorporated PATH strategies and technologies to a limited extent.


Installing formaldehyde-free insulation.PATH provided expertise to Manna’s design and construction staff in the following areas: Specification of building materials and products (particularly in the building envelope), fixtures, finishes, and appliances; design and specification of electrical, HVAC, and other mechanical equipment (such as hydro-coil units); energy use and heat gain/loss analysis and recommendations (including REM/Design and Manual J calculations); and education and training of subcontractors about new building materials and construction methods (for example, on-site training was conducted on OVE framing techniques and air-sealing practices).

While Manna’s design and construction staff were very receptive to the suggested strategies and technologies, budgetary constraints prevented them from pursuing many of them. In the end, the following were installed to a limited degree:

Light-colored bituminous roofing membrane
Slag concrete
Framing at 24″ on center for exterior walls
Air sealing
ENERGY STARĀ® appliances
Fluorescent fixtures in kitchen, common rooms, and stair wells

Status Updates:

This project has been completed.

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90 Newport St., Natick, MA 01760

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