100k House Gets All Sorts of Props

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A long time ago, we mentioned the 100k House project developed by Post Green in Philadelphia.  The project involves two attached homes designed by Interface Studio Architects, and one was a case study of sorts to try to build it for only $100,000.  What I liked about the project was its attempt to marry three essential elements: style, sustainability, and affordability.  All too often, these three are hard to put together in the same package.  But the media wave followed, and Post Green seems to have delivered what it set out to do.

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As it relates to media disclosures, I should note that when I was in Boston for Greenbuild last year, Post Green’s dynamic duo of Nic Darling and Chad Ludeman bought me a diet coke and German beer fries one evening.  I tried to pay, but they wouldn’t let me.  That’s the kind of group Post Green is.  

These days, the 100k House and the adjacent 120k House is done, so let’s check out what the final project looks like.  The cheaper home is 1,150 square feet, while the more expensive one is 1,270.  Both are less than half the size of homes commonly being built these days.  They’re LEED Platinum certified, an amazing accomplishment given they set out to get LEED Silver.  And they have some of the following green aspects:

  • Solar thermal hot water;
  • Rainwater collection; 
  • Low-flow fixtures and dual flush toilets;
  • Radiant in floor heating;
  • Efficient CFL lighting; 
  • Efficient envelope made with SIPs; 
  • Low- or no-VOC paints and finishes; and
  • Ivy green wall with drought-tolerant landscaping.  

The 100k House project involved a lot of people, and the blog set out some interesting construction minutiae, which you’ve probably already read.  Plus, Green Source just recognized the townhouse prototype as the Best Green House of August 2009.  Post Green has something like 17 more projects in the works, including a Passive House and a Skinny House (built on a thin lot), so we’ll see more of this group over the years.

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Photo credits: (c) Sam Oberter Photography (except postgreen for green bathroom and project sign photos).


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  • http://www.facebook.com/TeddyFrank Frank Robbins

    Absolute, complete and utter awesomeness. Congrats 100K house folks!

  • Kurt

    What a great idea! I’m glad they were able to do it.

  • http://www.Trigeia.com Trigeia Twins

    Great idea, Can they mass produce these. We can see communities built with only 100,000 dollar homes. Well maybe that wouldnt be a good idea probably would not last. For other architecture top news check out “Works from i.M.A.D.E” http://www.trigeia.com/article.php?id=72842

  • http://mportlandhomes.com/ M Realty

    Very cool. Affordability is the biggest problem with green certified buildings right now, especially platinum. I really hope that more and more builders that know sustainable building will come in and bring the prices down with some more competition.

    -Tyler

  • Anonymous

    I love these guys. They seem to really get it. Sustainability and affordability…

  • Anonymous

    I love these two homes – such an intriguing idea. The thing that always gets me is the number of bedrooms. I’d love to see a home, at this price, environmentally sensitive, etc. with 3 bedrooms…at least a bath and a half. Maybe that’s down the line…but sort of disheartening for me now.

    • http://www.postgreenhomes.com Chad Ludeman

      We actually are building a 3 bed / 2 bath model now, by turning the kitchen sideways on the ground floor and squeezing another bath and bed in the back of the first floor. It’s tight, but it works.

      Honestly, we’re not huge fans of second baths, especially half baths, as they tend to add a lot of cost, eat up valuable square footage and are not utilized enough to be valuable. This changes of course the larger the family living in the home is, but we have seen plenty of average 3-4 person families do just fine with only one full bath.

      To date our Postgreen line of homes has not been about providing every American convenience, but focusing on the essentials while keeping costs down.

  • http://www.postgreenhomes.com Chad Ludeman

    Thanks for the coverage again Preston. This project was a great learning experience for us and we are very excited about continuing to push the affordable, green envelope in Philly with the Passive House standard next, in addition to LEED. We have gained a lot of inspiration from the projects you’ve covered on Jetson Green as well over the past two years.

  • Cyndi

    These guys are fantastic and so are their projects. Thank you for covering their story. Very inspiring!

  • http://www.charlesandhudson.com Charles & Hudson

    Loving this progression and the homes look great in the setting.

  • Bobby

    love it

  • Anonymous

    I want one, where do I sign up?

  • Anonymous

    actually,. I want two with a breezway between them. One would be a working art rehearsal studio

  • Sea Wolf

    One of the most promising house projects to come along. Congratulations to everyone involved. To me, the interior (especially the main living space) feels like a prison, but this is a matter of taste and, also, something I could change with a well-spent $10K on additional windows, flooring, and details. Nice work.

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