Rethinking Rowhouses: A Green Rehab Open House in Gray’s Ferry

Right Sized Homes began rehabilitation of the 1331 Myrtlewood Street property in the winter of 2009, building to current energy savings practices with high efficiency heating, cooling and water heating, new low-e windows, and newly insulated reflective roofing. Midway through construction, we were able to acquire the adjacent abandoned lot. This inspired us to think differently, exploring how this typical rowhouse rehab could be redesigned, in a cost-effective way, to a higher standard of sustainability that could be replicated throughout Philadelphia. The lot was designed to include a kitchen garden, renewable fence screening, and a storage area for bicycles and scooters in order to encourage non-auto commuting. Inside the house more sustainable materials were obtained: ceramic tile replacing vinyl tile, bamboo and carpeting from recycled materials replacing standard carpeting, ultra-low consumption toilet replacing standard fixture, motion sensor exterior lighting and solar house numbers added.

This example of thoughtfully rehabilitating an outdated rowhouse, and re-imagining the adjacent abandoned side lot, demonstrates how easily greener development can be achieved in the places we live and work, in the buildings we design, and through the materials we use, incurring minimal additional cost, time or difficulty.  This rehabilitation, undertaken through the Redevelopment Authority’s Neighborhood Stimulus Program, includes a demonstration kitchen garden installed by Green Garden Tenders of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, has access to local supermarket and transit.  These inexpensive and easy to replicate changes contribute to creating greener, more livable and vibrant neighborhoods. While each one is a small step, taken together and multiplied times hundreds of residential rehabs each year, they contribute towards making Philadelphia “America’s Greenest City”.
Please join Right-Sized Homes, LLC, at a twilight event, showcasing our credo of sustainability through where we build, what we build, how we build.

Locally brewed beverages will be served at this showcase event.

When: Thursday, August 12th

Time: 4:00 – 7:00 PM

Where: 1331 S. Myrtlewood St., Phila., PA 19146


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