Sustainable Buildings

Since its beginnings, Chestnut Hill has attracted people who appreciate having the opportunity to showcase their creative talents. Two past residents were Henry Howard Houston and Dr. George Woodward, who founded the community and built many Arts & Crafts homes here. Now, in the same tradition by the fourth generation of Woodward, we have built new homes designed to again be innovative and forward-looking. A modern interpretation of the Chestnut Hill vernacular, our new houses are located on the "hill", an easy walk to the many outstanding community resources of the neighborhood, including the Wissahickon Park.

George Woodward Company retained Re:Vision Architecture and Gardner/Fox Associates to plan and manage the development and construction of four new houses. With the assistance of MaGrann Associates, Leed Consultants, the houses were registered and certified as Platinum rated LEED-Home (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification LEED is a nationally accepted certification program serving as a benchmark for the design and construction of green buildings by promoting sustainable site development, water conservation, energy efficiency, materials selection and quality of the indoor environment. The new buildings are the first LEED-Home Platinum rated twin houses to be built in Pennsylvania and have been designated the Urban In-Fill Home of the Year in the 2010 Dream Home Awards published in Design Magazine.

From a building technology standpoint, the houses are super insulated (R60 roof and R32 walls) with bio based foam insulation (a soy product). Because the houses are completely air-tight, fresh outdoor air is brought in via a highly efficient air exchanger. Mechanical systems consist of geo-thermal/groundsource heat pumps with two 275 foot wells per house. Tankless water heaters provide hot water on demand. Standing seam aluminum roofs and aluminum clad windows with insulated glass have a longer expected life cycle and allow for future recycling.

All of the finish materials were selected for their environmental sensitivity. Care was taken to avoid the use of materials substantially manufactured or finished with petro chemical products. Sustainable bamboo flooring covers living area floors while bathroom and kitchen floors are ceramic tile. The ceramic tile and many of the other materials used in the house are made from recycled products.

From a site standpoint, rainwater is collected from the roofs for watering the gardens. Driveways are made of pervious materials to retain as much storm water as possible for water table recharge.

Construction was completed in March 2009.