Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia: Designing for infill affordability

Start Date
End Date
In 2017, Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia undertook their largest project to date on the site of a former public housing development in North Philadelphia. The project included 20 homeownership units, revitalizing two blocks in a neighborhood that is under great real estate pressure. The project triggered the Philadelphia Water Departments stormwater regulations, requiring management on site. The team had to weight the difference between site infiltration systems, vegetated roofs, or the installation of in-street stormwater management infrastructure.

ISA was tasked with developing a prototypical home type for Habitat's ongoing urban infill work, and with proposing an innovative building and site design that complemented the Habitat volunteer friendly build model.

In this session we will discuss how the team navigated civic design reviews and workshopping through approaches to stormwater management, design techniques for single-family affordable projects, and integrating Habitat's volunteer- friendly construction methodology into the design process.

Session will cover the limitations when designing for affordability and best practices for determining appropriate sustainability measures for energy efficiency and improved air quality.

Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia provides homeownership opportunities to families earning between 30-60% of Area Median Income. ISA is an award-winning design firm in Philadelphia with a strong penchant for research and problem solving.
Philadelphia, PA
Distance Learning
Course Equivalency
Health, Safety and Welfare
Learning Outcomes
Learning Objectives- HSW

1. 1. Participants will better understand building envelope assembly to maximize efficiency, increased R-value, while maintaining a volunteer-friendly construction methodology.
2. 2. Presenters will outline the effect project subdivision, siting, and unit layout has on design of storm water management systems.
3. 3. Case study will outline the design interventions employed to address 50 and 100- year storm conditions within site.
4. 4. Presentation will explain decision-making process around ERV system design and unit layout to improve air quality.
Tya Winn, Director of Project Planning, Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia Brian Phillips- Principal, ISAKara Medow, Studio Director, ISALeslie Cunningham, Civil Engineer, Cornerstone
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Course Codes
AIA Philadelphia

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