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Building Innovation for Homeownership
Award Winners: Maryland

PROJECT: Dearbought, Frederick, Maryland

SUBMITTER: Hugh Winstead, NVR Inc., Gaithersburg, Maryland

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Dearbought is a 600-unit development now being built in historic Frederick, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C. The community is planned with �New Urbanism� principles of small-scale streets and open green spaces. Ryan Homes is part of the Dearbought community, with 48 townhouses and 58 single-family houses competing with other national builders such as Pulte and Regency. The Ryan homes look conventional, but their construction is highly automated. The units employ panelized walls and trusses made in Ryan�s Thurmont, Maryland, plant with a high degree of waste reduction and quality control. On the site, first and second floor platforms are constructed and the roofs are assembled. A crane then raises the second floor platform and the first floor walls are quickly set in place. The second floor is placed and then the second floor panelized walls are raised. The roofs are then lifted into place and secured. This technique greatly telescopes construction time and allows the units to be under roof quickly. These 1,237- square-foot townhouse are offered at less than $110,000, compared to $139,000 for a similar unit in the Dearbought community built by Pulte.

PROJECT PARTICIPANTS: Ryan Homes, Gaithersburg, Maryland (builder); Natelli Communities, Gaithersburg, Maryland (developer).


PROJECT: Knight's Landing, Chestertown, Maryland

SUBMITTER: Roger K. McKnight, Romack & Assoc., Inc., Chestertown, Maryland

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Knight's Landing is a development of 50 single-family detached homes in Chestertown on the eastern shore of Maryland. The homes, priced below the area median, are designed to provide the homeowner with increased energy savings. All homes in the three-phased development are slab-on-grade and use an innovative stay-in-place insulated concrete forming system (ICFS). Easy-assembly, light-weight, snap-together expanded polystyrene forms (EPS) are filled with 3000 psi concrete to create the exterior wall system. The forms are fire and pest resistant, made from 100 percent recyclable material, and reduce construction waste to as low as 2 percent. ICFSs have been found to reduce air infiltration and lower utility bills.

Phase I homes are equipped with electric baseboard heating. Phase II homes use hydronic radiant floor heat where hot water circulates through tubing in the concrete floors. Phase III homes will feature a roof-mounted solar system to assist in heating water for the hydronic system. The solar heat will be diverted to domestic hot water during the summer.

The combination of wall structure, heating system, and solar construction provide documented energy savings and eligibility for energy-efficient mortgage assistance and power company programs. The 1,000 square foot $55,400 homes on $29,000 lots are financed through the Rural Economic and Community Development (RECD) with no downpayment and interest as low as 1% based on income.

PROJECT PARTICIPANTS: Roger K. McKnight, President, Romack & Assoc., Inc. (builder/developer), Chestertown, MD.


PROJECT: Claybrooke, Baltimore, Maryland

SUBMITTER: Wendy C. Gatzke for Bob Ward, Bob Ward Homes, Edgewood, Maryland

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Claybrooke is a subdivision of 73 single-family attached and 26 single-family detached homes in suburban Baltimore near the interstate, public transportation, and large employment bases. The homes are designed for energy-efficiency and resource conservation, exceeding state and local energy building codes by 45 percent. Stick-built with laid block foundations, the homes feature high-efficiency heating and air conditioning systems with all ducts in conditioned space, low-E windows, and foam sealants. An outside agency tests each home to ensure its energy efficiency. A blower door test ensures adequate natural infiltration rates, an infrared scan evaluates the effectiveness of wall and ceiling insulation, and an air flow test detects air leakage in the duct system. Annual heating and cooling costs for an average Claybrooke home are estimated at $580. For further resource conservation, Claybrooke homes include low-flow shower heads and use engineered wood products in trusses. Subcontractors remove their construction waste, an incentive to produce less waste.

Claybrooke townhomes, 1740 square feet including finished basement, are priced at $102,000. Detached homes, 1300-1900 square feet with unfinished basement, sell for $140,000. All homes are in the BGE Energy/Wise New Home Program and qualify for "stretch" ratio financing. The builder offer further buyer-assistance through a sweat equity program, closing-cost help (via a six-month rental), and a rent to buy program (builder pays the difference between buyer's former monthly rent and monthly mortgage payments for one- year).

PROJECT PARTICIPANTS: Bob Ward Homes Group, Edgewood, Maryland


PROJECT: New Colony Village, Jessup, Maryland

SUBMITTER: Gary W. Pomeroy, Select Housing Associates, Newport Beach, California

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: This planned community of 416 homes makes several breakthroughs in housing technology and land development. The predominantly two-story homes, which average approximately 1,300 square feet, are HUD-code construction. While this construction method usually results in one-story houses, this technology uses a wood chassis with removable wheels, axles, hitches, and steel supports. This allows the HUD-code boxes to be stacked as modulars would be, resulting in two-story units on leased land. The local building authority has approved the construction technique. The Maryland state legislature passed new laws that exempt mobile home parks from land-lease redemption. Long-term leases of 50 years allow for conventional loan programs, thus equalizing the manufactured home loan to that of conventionally constructed homes. Other cost savings were realized through greater unit densities, property taxes are reduced because of the lease arrangement, and buyers also saved on land costs through leases. This resulted in an average price of $95,000, approximately 59% of the median new home price.

PROJECT PARTICIPANTS: Wayne Newsome and Mark Levy, Corridor 1 LLP (developer); Gary W. Pomeroy, Select Housing Associates (manufactured housing consultants); Greg Hackworth and Steve Dona, Hackworth Architecture-Planning (land planners and architects); Warren Keyes, Schult Homes Corp. (manufactured housing producer); Gail Boorman, A. Gail Boorman & Associates (landscape architects).


PROJECT: The Grove at Patuxent Woods, Patuxent City, Maryland

SUBMITTER: Ralph Bennett, Bennett Frank McCarthy Architects, Takoma Park, Maryland

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: This competition-winning design for small development in rural Maryland contains seven houses on land that was previously considered unbuildable. Percolation tests revealed that the soil conditions could not support development. However, through innovative site and infrastructure design, it was possible to concentrate a large septic fields in areas of the site with adequate soil conditions, allowing four houses to route their septic to a fifth lot, while two houses shared a septic field. The houses also contain other innovations. Pressure-treated permanent wood foundations were used on the houses to minimize site disturbance and to eliminate the added cost of concrete work. Using NAHB�s Cost-Effective Home Building, framing was value-engineered so that it would use less material. The houses will be heated with geo-thermal heat pumps, a system that uses the earth�s steady underground temperature to reduce utility bills. The local utility company will provide a rebate to lower the cost of the geothermal system. The houses are also designed and oriented on-site to benefit from passive solar strategies. The state supplied mortgage assistance, while the U.S. Department of Agriculture helped with a Rural Development Grant. The county government helped to provide land to the nonprofit developer. There will also be a first-time homebuyer counseling program for budgeting and home maintenance advice.

PROJECT PARTICIPANTS: Southern Maryland Tri-County Community Action Committee, Inc. (builder/developer); Ralph Bennett, Larry Frank, Bennett Frank McCarthy Architects, Inc. (architect/planner); Mark Ferguson, RDA (civil engineer); Ambrish Rastogi, AJ Engineers (mechanical engineer); MNC Mortgage, Inc., Ron Davis, vice president (lender); Charles County Commissioners (local government); Charles County Department of Community Services; Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, Patricia Payne, secretary (state government).


Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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