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)


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´┐Żs 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