Washington Square Town Homes

Project Description

The design, consultation and development team has been hard at work for over thirteen months to deliver one of the Passive House (PH) projects awarded in the 2015 round of Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) through the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA).  Of the 40 awarded applications for the 2015 round, 7 of those development projects have targeted Passive House energy performance standards.

The project, for which we serve as Certified Passive House Consultants (CPHC®), comprise (4) buildings, including (12) townhouse units and (42) walk-up apartments.  The project is to be located within the Borough of Chambersburg, PA where the need for quality, sustainable affordable housing is great – just as it is throughout the DC metro region.  PIRHL Developers and Contractors of Cleveland, Ohio are the Developers and Builders on the project.

The project is fully precertified for the PHIUS+ 2015 Passive Building Standard of all 54 dwelling units including a stand alone community building. The project currently stands as one of less than a handful of multifamily projects in the U.S. to achieve this.  This status is obtained as a result of our WUFI Passive energy simulation meeting the climate-specific energy metrics and having coordinated building envelope design, detailing, specifications and HVAC systems.  PHIUS provides a comprehensive quality assurance review of DD-level drawings and back-up documentation to confirm accurate WUFI modeling and risk- free building science.

As we are now under construction, 3 of the 4 buildings’ foundations and slabs are in and the townhouse super-structures are going vertical.  Our airsealing strategies and enclosure design will take shape shortly, so it is an exciting phase of the project.

We should remark at the importance of this project and the other 6 that are being built across Pennsylvania.  And to follow that, for the 2016 PHFA LIHTC round, of 27 awarded projects, 10 have targeted PH.  These ratios are astounding to us for the fact of how competitive the state-issued LIHTC program is, not to mention, how valued the additional 10 of 140 scoring points is to competing developers.  All said, between these two LIHTC offerings, 850 new dwelling units designed to the Passive House standard will be available to low-income residents.

Kudos again to the folks that worked tirelessly to get this policy in place, and continued good luck to the teams which are delivering the projects.

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