In 2014 Tartan Residential began work on Buchanan’s Crossing Subdivision – A 40-unit duplex development serving families in Kansas City, Kansas. Phase 1 consisted of 16 units and was constructed with traditional wood-framed exterior walls and R-13 batt insulation. Phase 2 consisted of 8 units and was constructed with R-26 polyurethane-filled structural insulated panels. In all other respects, the first two phases were identical.
This side-by-side demonstration underscored the benefits of building with structural insulated panels. Although building with panels cost more than traditional stick-frame construction, we identified a long list of construction, operating and financial benefits associated with panelized construction.
Our design team took what we learned and engineered a 3-story garden apartment building using structural insulated wall panels. Davidson’s Landing, a 115-unit workforce housing development financed with tax-exempt bonds and located in Kansas City, Kansas is currently under construction utilizing this building system. We are currently about 70% complete, ahead of schedule and below budget. Our first units will be ready for occupancy in the next month or two.
A few weeks ago our team obtained a building permit to begin construction on Buchanan’s Crossing Phase 3, a 16-unit workforce housing development to be financed with tax-exempt bonds. Phase 3 will be constructed with R-18 graphite-infused polystyrene exterior wall panels. We plan to use high-efficiency water heaters and HVAC systems for this phase. And we plan to build one building with panels on one side of the duplex and lumber and fiberglass on the other side.
Our design team – which includes the Virginia Center for Housing Research and Mathis Consulting Company (principal Chris Mathis is an MIT-educated building performance specialist and an ASHRAE Fellow) – plans to create simulated living environments in these side-by-side units to observe and collect data on for one year. This one-of-a-kind comparison should highlight additional benefits of energy-efficient construction systems.
The following video gives and overview of this small, but exciting project. Feel free to contact Jeff Carroll at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have regarding Tartan’s energy-efficient workforce housing development opportunities.