Project Chronology

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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 was about 95% complete. According to the construction manager, the house would be ready for MEP rough-in, roofing, and window installation soon. The affiliate had 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 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 was still having some difficulty getting the donated XPS insulation from the local drop-off point and would contact other distributors for the material. PATH had also been informed that by mid-2003, all four Philadelphia HFH affiliates would merge into one. It was also affirmed that this demonstration project would be used as a model for the new affiliate’s future projects.

December 2002 – The construction manager for South Philadelphia HfH resigned. Daryn Edwards, the chair of Design and Construction Committee would be the contact until a replacement could be hired. The decisions was 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 were installed. PATH provided 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 would be CM when the four Philadelphia HfHs merged.

February 2003 – PATH provided 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 chose the radiant heating system. Installation was almost complete.

March 2003 – PATH provided Don Cerra with information about slag concrete, low-VOC paint, and structural drywall corners. Radiant heating system and water distribution system were 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 was complete and drywall was being hung. PATH coordinated linoleum installation training with Forbo Industries.

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

June 2003 – Fiber-cement siding donated for this project would be installed at a new construction site in north Philadelphia. PATH coordinated 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 would be delayed from late July to early September. HFHP was having difficulty finding a homeowner for the house because of its location. Without a homeowner, 1026 Colorado Street was not a priority for completion.

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

October 2003 – Volunteers and staff began construction on 1026 Colorado Street again. The project was expected to be completed at the end of November 2003. A ribbon cutting ceremony would be planned once a homeowner has been selected for the house.

January 2005 – Daryn Edwards of the HFH-Philly Board of Directors stated that the house was not finished yet. He said that HFH-Philly had a challenging year with high staff turnover and lack of finances. At the time, he explained that HFH-Philly was having title issues with another house down the block. As a result, if the title issue for that house was not resolved, then the family there would move into the Demonstration house. He stated that work on the Demonstration house had been delayed until this issue was resolved. Edward did mention that HFH-Philly had incorporated some PATH technologies and strategies into their other new and rehab projects.

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