Yale Architecture Students Dedicate House They Built for Community

Students from Yale University School of Architecture, who designed and built a house in the Legion Avenue neighborhood, will dedicate the house on October 1 at 5:30 p.m.

The one-family wood frame structure is located across from the corner of Porter Street at 83 Parmalee Street. New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, Yale Architecture Dean Robert A.M. Stern and a representative from Neighborhood Housing Services, the local non-profit agency that commissioned the house, will speak at the dedication, which is open to the public.

Each year, students in the first-year class at the Yale School of Architecture design and build a structure. For the past five years, they have created a one-family house that is sold at cost to a qualifying first-time buyer who completes an orientation program hosted by Neighborhood Housing Services.

“The first-year student project is a testimonial to the art of architecture as the art of building,” said Stern. “It provides unmatched hands-on experience to the students. In addition, it is a meaningful opportunity for them to interact with their community.” This year, 53 students participated in the project.

The Yale project “has become a high point in our yearly cycle,” said Henry Dynia, rehabilitation specialist and construction manager for Neighborhood Housing Services. “Every year, it gets better and better. We enjoy the contact with so many talented people, both faculty and students.”

The two-story, 1,500-square-foot contemporary home meets federal efficiency standards as an Energy Star(r) house, said Paul Brouard, project director and a faculty member at the Yale School of Architecture. Energy Star(r) is a voluntary program run by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency along with product manufacturers, utilities and retailers. The program encourages use of energy-efficient and environmentally friendly materials.

Brouard said the house has a low-maintenance metal roof and an exterior made of hardboard and cement composition planks that resemble clapboard that has been painted red. The 2x6 wall framing allowed for 5 1/2 inches of insulation rated at R-19, and the attic is rated at R-30. R-values are an indication of a material’s resistance to cold; the higher the R-value, the more resistant. A south-facing clerestory window with an overhang provides for some positive solar gain during the winter but shields the window from overheating in the summer, Brouard said. A high-efficiency gas-fired warm air furnace provides heat for cold months.

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