'$100K House' Minimizes Home's Carbon Footprint, Delivers on Green Building Technologies

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Developer goes 'extra mile' with addition of home's rainscreen system developed by Benjamin Obdyke. Home Slicker® is a component of a rainscreen system that alleviates moisture problems in wall assemblies by providing a continuous ventilatin and drainage space to prevent mold.

Chad Ludeman, founder of the development company Postgreen, has achieved his goal of building a new, LEED Platinum home in Philadelphia for only $100,000 by keeping the design basic and the building technologies green.

A key green aspect of the design that will contribute to the home's sustainability is an exterior wall assembly that includes structured insulated panels (SIPs), fiber cement siding, and a vented rainscreen system using Home Slicker® from Benjamin Obdyke. "After deciding to go with [fiber cement] siding and SIPs, our main question was whether or not to employ a rainscreen," Ludeman wrote on his blog, which traced the developer's design process, budget questions, and construction decisions. "It is widely recognized as the most effective method for preventing moisture issues in modern homes and is even required in…Canada and parts of Europe. It is not a requirement for LEED to use a rainscreen in our area, but we wanted to go the extra mile if we could accomplish it."

Called the $100K House, which describes the hard construction costs (not including design costs), the demonstration project is located in the East Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. The 1,150-sq. ft., two-story, three-room home is Postgreen's way of showing that green design should be available to the average working family and is meant to be a prototype that will be repeated with variations in other neighborhoods. The idea is to boil the home's design down to the essential components, while minimizing its carbon footprint. Because of components that include solar panels, radiant heating, and the SIPs sheathing, Postgreen expects annual energy costs to be approximately $1,200.

On the decision to use Home Slicker, Ludeman said he was familiar with the product through a professional colleague. Home Slicker is a component of a rainscreen system that alleviates moisture problems in wall assemblies by providing a continuous ventilation and drainage space. Rainscreen systems are recognized by building science experts as the optimum method of wall construction in areas prone to moisture, high temperatures, and humidity. It is applied between the weather-resistive barrier - which can be a synthetic housewrap or felt paper - and the exterior siding and is vented at the top and bottom of the cladding to allow any accumulated water to drain away and air flow to dry the space.

Ludeman is forthright about its value to the sustainable design of the 100K House. "It's simply the best and most robust way to build an exterior wall assembly in this and other climates that receive a decent amount of rain," he wrote.

For more information on Home Slicker or other Benjamin Obdyke roof and wall products, contact a local Benjamin Obdyke dealer, visit http://www.benjaminobdyke.com, or call Benjamin Obdyke Customer Service at 800-346-7655.

About Benjamin Obdyke Incorporated

Since 1868, Benjamin Obdyke has been helping architects, builders, and contractors in the United States and Canada Build Better™ by developing and adding new advances to its product line. Benjamin Obdyke develops, sources, markets, and sells proprietary roof and wall products that improve the building envelope and the performance of other building materials for the residential new construction, repair, and remodel markets. Innovations from Benjamin Obdyke, such as the first roofing ridge vent on a roll, the first wood roofing underlayment, and the first rolled product to provide drainage and air flow in rainscreen wall assemblies, have helped shape today's building practices. Headquartered in Horsham, PA, USA, Benjamin Obdyke partners with a network of distributors, dealers, buying groups, and cooperatives to reach building professionals in the United States and Canada.

For a high-res photo of this application, go to http://benjaminobdyke.com/content/downloads to download a photo, or contact Elva Clements at 610-520-6140, Ext. 203 or elva@alvare.com.

Photo Caption:
A photo taken during the 100K House's construction shows Home Slicker® rainscreen component in yellow applied over #15 felt paper, which is used as the home's weather-resistive barrier. Postgreen, the development company, chose to incorporate a rainscreen system in their demonstration house to create a sustainable home that can be affordable to average working families.

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Elva Legere Clements
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