8 Projects Win Willard Rouse Awards

Swarthmore Town Center West | Photo from Swarthmore College via ULI Philadelphia

Judging from the major elements contained in this year’s honorees at the Urban Land Institute Philadelphia’s fourth annual Willard G. “Bill” Rouse Awards for Excellence, the city’s architectural and development communities have not only become masters at multitasking, they’ve managed to successfully complete their context sensitivity training.

Whether the design paid homage to traditional informal style, like Cope Linder’s master design for Swarthmore Town Center West, or made bold modern statements like KSS/Hollwich Kushner’s Pennovation Center and BLTa/Pelli Clarke Pelli’s FMC Tower at Cira Centre South did, in every case it fit in with its setting and enhanced its intended functions. Read more »

Common Threads in This Year’s Rouse Award Residential Finalists

Even Folsom Powerhouse, the most residential of this year's Rouse Award finalists, incorporates mixed uses in the form of an updated take on the traditional corner store. | Photo: Postgreen Homes

Even Folsom Powerhouse, the most residential of this year’s Rouse Award finalists, incorporates mixed uses in the form of an updated take on the traditional corner store. | Photo: Postgreen Homes

The Urban Land Institute Philadelphia District Council announced the finalists for this year’s Willard G. “Bill” Rouse Awards for Excellence last week, and five of the 14 finalists fall into the residential category, at least in part.

And it’s that “at least in part” part that’s one of the most significant common threads connecting the five projects. The message these projects deliver is one that urbanists, developers and planners have all been hammering home in one way or another for more than a decade now: Single-use is out, multitasking is in. (Toll Brothers, please copy.)

Not even the most residential of the five projects is exclusively residential, and that project has many other features that make it a standout. Read more »

How Passive Houses Yield Aggressive Savings

This cross-section shows the features that make passive house buildings super-efficient and extremely comfortable to live and work in. Energy savings of 80 to 90 percent are an added bonus. | Image: RPA

This cross-section shows the features that make passive house buildings super-efficient and extremely comfortable to live and work in. Energy savings of 80 to 90 percent are an added bonus. | Image: RPA

How do you keep warm in your home in the winter?

Do you crank the thermostat in the hall up past 78 so you can keep your bedroom at 68?

Do you stuff foam tubes under doors and tape plastic over drafty windows?

Do you take a space heater into a room that’s too cold?

Do you wrap yourself in thick sweaters and blankets?

If you do any of these things, you’re like more than half the country, according to a recent survey conducted by Ecocor, a manufacturer of high-performance sustainable houses and other buildings. Read more »

Meet Philadelphia’s First Co-House: K’House

Image courtesy of Postgreen Homes

Image courtesy of Postgreen Homes

With the Greater Philadelphia Area being home to more than 25 co-working spaces as of earlier this year, we should have figured the next cool iteration of the co-trend would be coming to the city soon enough. As it so happens, Philadelphia City Paper’s Andrew Zaleski reports it has: K’House. 

Situated in South Kensington’s Norris Square neighborhood, K’House is a co-housing project by Alex Hillman and the Postgreen Homes team. Zaleski says it will be the city’s “first official co-house,” as the small number of cooperative living communities that currently exist in Philadelphia are not registered with the Cohousing Association of the United States.

So now what’s this whole co-housing thing about? Zeleski explains:

Read more »

Awesometown’s Open House Looks to be Pregame Hot Spot for Night Market

Awesometown | via Postgreen Homes

Awesometown | via Postgreen Homes

Heading Night Market at Frankford & Girard on October 1? It’s the final one of the season, and to make it even more special, Postgreen Homes is offering up their second unconventional open house party at their nearby mixed-income Awesometown development, called “Made in Awesometown.”

Though not officially affiliated with the Food Trust’s popular outdoor food truck festival, Postgreen’s Chad Ludeman described it as “a bit of a pre-game [of Night Market] to see some cool local stuff while getting free drinks and snacks.” Sounds good to us.

“I guess an unwritten rule of our brand is to do everything a bit different or with a twist,” said Ludeman. “Open houses are normal and often boring, so we try to make them a bit more interesting and fun.”

Read more »

Open House to Feature Local Beer, Bike Mechanics, Crafts and Duplexcellence II

Photos: Sarah Kunst

Photos: Sarah Kunst

Is the line between traditional open house and house party about to be blurred? Postgreen Homes tends to do things a little different when it comes to their green development projects. The open house for their latest joint, a four-unit condo duplex called Duplexcellence II, will look to break the mold yet again.

“We try to make all of our open houses a little bit different to keep things interesting,” said owner Chad Ludeman. Basically, you’ll get to tour four of what Ludeman dubbed as “high quality duplexes,” each with their own private outdoor space. Throughout the party tour, you’ll have a chance to sample some craft beer and cocktails from Philadelphia Brewing Company and Rowhouse Spirits, check out handmade home good “stuffs” from Earth & Iron and see heirloom textiles from Cuttaloosa. Julia Blaukopf will also be on hand showcasing her custom wallpaper style, which Ludeman said could be installed inside the home. Read more »

Property’s Photo of the Week: Sidecar Fun in East Kensington

We don’t know about you, but it’s been a long week for some of us and we could certainly do with some feel good vibes. That’s why Property’s Photo of the Week this week is something we can all probably get behind: sidecars and proto homes!

Say what? Well, we found the #phillyscape capture on Postgreen Homes’ Instagram account. According to the caption, the pic was snapped by one Sam Oberter who didn’t use any filters (not that there’s anything wrong with Willowing up your photos!). The pictured home is one of Postgreen’s protypes built in 2011, and the people on the motorcycle and sidecar are its owners…who we think should let us take it for a ride this weekend!

Sigh…isn’t spring wonderful?

Read more »

Postgreen Offers Peek At Its Next Project

postrgreen-trenton-ave

Trenton Avenue, which begins in the triangle where Fishtown, East Kensington and Port Richmond overlap, is a broad thoroughfare that once was a bustling industrial corridor. Now, save for one day a year, it’s mostly a quiet residential street.

Chad Luderman, CEO of Postgreen Homes, believes this transformation was a mistake. Not that he wants to bring back industry, but rather, it’s that a street this wide makes for a natural commercial corridor. (It certainly makes a great setting for an arts festival and kinetic sculpture race.)

It may be too late to add commerce to the rest of the street, but Luderman’s going to at least try to salvage a little stretch of it.

Read more »

Awesome New Postgreen Homes Coming to Fishtown

awesometown rendering

Awesometown rendering via Postgreen Homes website.

The folks at Postgreen Homes have a penchant for coming up with clever, cutesy names for their developments. ReNewbold. Duplexcellence. Avant Garage. And a project of cork-clad homes called – what else? – “Pop!” They also are on a mission to prove that building green shouldn’t cost a lot, a mission they embarked on with their very first project, the $100k House. Postgreen’s newest project, four years in the making, is something of an apotheosis of both corporate traits, then.

First of all, it has a name that sounds like it was coined by a teenage boy: Awesometown.

Read more »

Morning Headlines: Developer Building Legal Airbnb in Philly

Side view of another building on Amber Street by Postgreen Homes. Photo credit: Postgreen Homes.

Side view of another building on Amber Street by Postgreen Homes.
Photo credit: Postgreen Homes.

There are, as of publishing time, less than 1,000 Airbnb vacation rentals in Philadelphia (with prices ranging from $20 to $130/night). But a legal one is still in progress.

Postgreen Homes and Equinox Management & Construction is constructing an apartment building with a unit specifically for this purpose. The idea wasn’t out of the blue: the developers mentioned the vacation rental when applying for the building permit way back when. It would make Bill Green proud…

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