Building Innovation for Homeownership
Award Winners: Massachusetts
PROJECT: Pine Street Cohousing, Amherst Massachusetts
SUBMITTER: Bruce Coldham, Architect, Amherst Massachusetts
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The Pine Street Cohousing project is based on a Scandinavian
housing model combining the autonomy of private homes with the advantages of shared
community resources. The Pine Street development consists of 4 duplexes and a common house.
The common house provides a large kitchen/dining area along with guest quarters. The
development is clustered to allow separation of living space from the automobile and increase
the extent of open spaces. Each duplex has a 1,000 square foot 2 bedroom unit costing
$110,000 and a 1,750 square foot 3 bedroom unit costing $155,000.
Optimal-value engineering was used in the framing design to minimize dimensional lumber
requirements. The 2x6 wall framing at 24 inches on-center has horizontal furring to allow 7
inches of dry-blown cellulose insulation. Each unit has a geothermal heat pump which transfers
heat between the ground and the home at efficiencies greater than conventional air-source heat
pumps. Another energy efficiency measure in the development includes daylighting to minimize
the need for auxiliary daytime lights. The roofs were oriented and sloped to accommodate the
future addition of photovoltaic panels.
Extensive waste management was used during construction of the homes. Cardboard and metals
were recycled, drywall was ground up and spread over the land, and wood was sorted for either
reuse or as a fuel in wood stoves. Only 15 percent of the total project waste was landfilled.
PROJECT PARTICIPANTS: Pine Street Realty Trust, Amherst Massachusetts (ownership
group), Bruce Coldham, Amherst Massachusetts (architect)
BUILDING INNOVATION FOR HOMEOWNERSHIP AWARD WINNER
PROJECT: Winn House, West Deerfield, Massachusetts
SUBMITTER: Andy Gianino, The Home Store, Whately, Massachusetts
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The Winn House is one of more than a dozen that the Home
Store has built around the New England region. The house�s construction is modular, but
what really makes it innovative is the universal design features that it incorporates. The
Home Store offers this model as an alternative to adapting existing houses to accommodate
the disabled. At $135,000, the three-bedroom, two-bath house provides an affordable
alternative, at .80 of the medium for new housing construction in the region. The design for
the house was developed by the Home Store and the Center for Accessible Housing at North
Carolina University. It uses four modular units to achieve a barrier-free design, with one
living room/foyer module, one dining room/kitchen module, and two bedroom modules.
Among the universal design features are level entry approach; covered porch; package shelf;
low threshold doorways; lever door handles; five-foot turning radius in kitchen and baths;
kneespace under sinks; 42-inch-wide hallways; 32-inch minimum doorways; easy to reach
rocker electrical switches and outlets; tub with integrated transfer seat; anti-scald tub/shower
controls; and grab bars. Energy-efficient design include low-e glazing and boosted insulation
in 2x6 exterior walls. There is a 3% down construction financing program, and first-time
homebuyer mortgages available at reduced rates.
PROJECT PARTICIPANTS: The Home Store, Inc. (Andy Gianino, Ph.D., president); The
Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State University (Ron Mace, FAIA, director).
Content Archived: January 20, 2009