The Residences at Melpet Farm consists of one, two, and three bedroom apartments and will be available to people makng 60-percent or less of the area's median income. Twenty-five percent of the apartments wil be set aside for applicants who are homeless, or in danger of being homeless. Residents wll have access to a community room, which will aso have a shared laundy room. The $7 million prject, which was spearheaded by the Housing Assstance Corporation of Cape Cod (HAC) and Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH), came together thanks to funding from numerous sources, including the town of Dennis Community Preservation Fund, and the state Department of Housing and Community Developement. The property was designed to be near net zero ready and will utilize a 160,000 kWh photovoltaic system to offset the all-electric buildng systems.
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Melpet Farm Apartments is a rental property with 27 units. The residents live in the units full time.
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The site was initially used for agricultural purposes and a portion of it continues to be used as a horse farm. Several buildings that existed on the site were used by the Dennis Housing Authority from 2002 until 2008 for affordable housing but ultimately demolished in 2014.
The adjacent town-owned barn and pasture lands were the site of Boomtown, a popular long-running children’s show starting Rex Trailer and his sidekicks Pablo, Cactus Pete, and Sergeant Billy, that aired on WBZ TV in Boston from 1956 – 1974.
The materials chosen by the design team were selected to match a vernacular of the cape. The interior finishes do not include any carpet and low to no VOC paint and sealants. The landscape utilizes all native plants and rain gardens to manage storm water.
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The buildings are only recently occupied. The energy data from the VRF system is collected through a component of the system. There is a plan to monitor unit plug loads to collect and analyze the data and provide resident education if necessary.
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2 layers of 1.5 inch type IX EPS Insulation
Slab edge assembly:
.5 inch cement based filler over 2.5 inch type IX EPS Insulation
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2 layers of 1.5 inch type IX EPS Insulation
Above grade wall assembly:
Starting below the sill plate: continuous 1.5 inch sealant impregnated foam tape and 3.5 foam sill sealer, 2 x 6 wood stud walls insulated with dense packed cellulose, .5 inch zip wall taped covered by 1.5 inch foil face polyisocyanurate with taped joints, vertical 1 x 4 furring at 16" oc, and fiber cement siding.
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Loose fill cellulose insulation
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This was not a typical design process but one POAH occasionally encounters. We were asked to partner with a local entity who had secured the zoning permit and had the design to a level past the point of major changes. We were able to change the building orientation to maximize the solar PV production and modify the details for envelope and unit to unit air tightness. The debate to use an all electric heating cooling system was decided by a notice that National Grid was not going to be running any new gas service in the area. With that final design direction the process involved review by consultants, cost analysis and drawing modifications.
The financing plan includes the award of a 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) allocation of $6,440,773 and approximately $2,000,000 in state capital subsidy (AHT, HOME and HIF). Additionally, a $470,000 CPA award has already been granted to the project.
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Massachusetts Residential New Construction Program: $28,000
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The original site plan was adjusted to create more south facing roof surface to improve the PV system performance.
The challenge of building energy efficient affordable rental housing involves per unit cost limits, motivating sub-contractors and effecting occupant behavior. The architectural details were reviewed by consultants for not only improved performance but for constructability and knowing the utility payment structure (the Owner pays all utilities in this case). All these factors defined the energy strategy.
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Our approach was to balance the building envelope performance with PV production, program and cost. Understanding the PV capacity of the roof surfaces facing south, the occupants and the budget constraints provided the parameters for our design.
Asphalt shingles over 5/8" zip sheathing with taped joints.
Paradigm 8381 Vinyl Triple Pane
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Daily review by Owners Construction Representative, selected because he has knowledge of energy efficiency construction. Site visits made by Clear Result to perform quality control and blower door testing to evaluate airtightness.
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Kate Ferreira, Housing Development, Housing Assistance Corporation
Julie Creamer, VP of New Construction and Special Projects, Preservation of Affordable Housing
Kathryn Giardi, Brown Lindquist Fenuccio & Raber Architects Inc., Architect
Tom Howes, Delphi Construction Inc., Senior Project Manager
Brian Walsh, Consulting Structural Engineer, Inc.
Brian Kuchar, Horsley Witten Group, Inc., Civil Engineer and Landscape Architect
Wayne Mattson, PE, Griffith & Vary, Inc., Mechanical Engineer, Principal
Robert Bravo, PE, Griffith & Vary, Inc., Electrical Engineer
Jim Ziobro, Griffith & Vary, Inc., Principal, Plumbing and Fire Protection Engineer
Brendan O'Hara, Clerk of the Works