100K Houses, Philadelphia
Interface Studio Architects

An antidote to the bigger-is-better culture, the 100K Houses take affordability seriously. “Our suspicion is that with environmental awareness, the changing economy, and the return of young people to cities, there’s a need for alternatives to what is typically built,” says Brian Phillips, AIA, LEED AP. Simplicity, redundancy, and creativity were key to making the numbers work. The three models—the 100K/120K House, the Passive House, and the Skinny, all built within a two-block radius—feature flush façades and simple materials such as fiber-cement siding, some of it silkscreened. Interior finishes include plywood, OSB, exposed concrete, and bamboo hardwood.

Operating costs are essential to affordability, too. The design team focused on creating a tight, super-insulated building envelope—using SIPs or double-stud framing—rather than on elaborate mechanical systems. That, plus items such as photo­voltaics, solar thermal hot water, and ductless mini-split heating and cooling helped the 100K homes achieve LEED Platinum certification.

“There are so many sustainable features, and it looks really livable,” a judge commented. “It’s a modern prototype that’s aiming to be affordable.” The concept is ideal for Philadelphia, which has thousands of vacant lots. But it’s also being exported to other cities such as Chicago and Miami. “We’re experimenting with wood and metal exteriors and more diverse floor plans,” Phillips says.

View all 2013 RADA winners.

Project Credits

Principal in charge: Brian Phillips, AIA, LEED AP, Interface Studio Architects
General contractor: Chad Ludeman, Hybrid Construction, Philadelphia
Developer: Chad Ludeman, Postgreen Homes, Philadelphia
Project size: 1,000 square feet
Site size: 0.025 acre
Sales price: $250,000
Construction cost: $100 per square foot
Photography: Sam Oberter

Product Details

Bathroom cabinets: Ikea ikea.com/us
Custom bathroom fittings: Ikea ikea.com/us; Kohler us.kohler.com; Grohe grohe.com/us
Bathroom fixtures: Ikea ikea.com/us; Kohler us.kohler.com; Whitehaus products.whitehauscollection.com; Duravit duravit.us
Cooktop: Frigidaire frigidaire.com; LG lg.com
Countertops: Plywood with Eco-Tuff coating ecoprocote.com; EcoTop kliptech.com; concrete
Dishwasher: Frigidaire frigidaire.com; LG lg.com
Doors: Therma-Tru thermatru.com; Masonite masonite.com
Exterior siding: HardiePanel jameshardie.com; CertainTeed (fiber cement) certainteed.com
Flooring: Daltile daltile.com; Forbo (Marmoleum) www.forboflooringna.com; bamboo; concrete slab; cork; plywood
HVAC equipment: UltimateAir ERV ultimateair.com
Insulation: SIPs; cellulose
Kitchen cabinets: Ikea ikea.com/us
Kitchen fittings: Ikea ikea.com/us; Moen moen.com; Grohe grohe.com/us
Kitchen fixtures: Ikea ikea.com/us; Moen moen.com; Elkay elkayusa.com
Lighting fixtures: Exposed CFLs
Oven: Frigidaire frigidaire.com; LG lg.com
Paints, stains, and wall finishes: Olympic olympic.com
Refrigerator: Frigidaire frigidaire.com; LG lg.com
Roofing: EPDM, TPO
Skylights and roof windows: Solatube solatube.com
Solar energy system: Schüco schueco.com/web/us
Windows: JELD-WEN jeld-wen.com; SeriousWindows seriouswindows.com; Inline Fiberglass inlinefiberglass.com
Washer/Dryer: Bosch bosch.us