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Brewster affordable housing - first multi-family Passive House-certified project on Cape Cod – wins BRICC Gold award

October 13, 2023

POAH announced that Brewster Woods a 30-unit development that serves low- and moderate-income households on Cape Cod won the BRICC Gold Award for Outstanding Housing Affordability Project from the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Cape Cod.

Brewster Woods is the first multi-family Passive House certified project on Cape Cod and among the first wave of Passive House affordable housing in Massachusetts. The project is a partnership between POAH, Housing Assistance Corporation (HAC), and the Brewster Housing Authority.

The 100% affordable community allows families who earn below 60% of area median income the opportunity to put down roots in a well-located, desirable community close to amenities including high-quality open space and beautiful beaches. Three apartments are set aside for individuals with disabilities transitioning from institutional settings to live independently in community with support, and 7 are deeply affordable for families at risk of homelessness.

The buildings are fossil-fuel free and include a large photovoltaic solar array expected to produce upwards of 175,000 kWh, high-efficiency & all-electric heating, cooling, and hot-water systems, and air-tight wall assemblies with triple-pane windows and three inches of rigid insulation. The project’s energy efficient approach enables residents to have no utility bills and ensures comfort and well-being with excellent fresh air distribution and consistent temperature control.

Project architects Catalyst Architecture & Interiors successfully designed to Passive House standards, and Delphi Construction executed with excellent attention to detail and quality control in the field. Building Evolution Corporation (BEC) was instrumental in design consulting and commissioning, and ClearResult performed onsite testing and reporting. Sunbug Solar engineered and installed the solar array.

POAH is grateful to its partners for making this development possible:

  • Cape Light Compact for a large grant that allowed the project to incorporate high-efficiency, all-electric HVAC systems.
  • Brewster Woods received funding from the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities, Bank of America, Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP), MassHousing, CEDAC, Barnstable County HOME

Consortium, the Town of Brewster Community Preservation Committee, and the Executive Office of Economic Development MassWorks program.

  • MHP’s Green Building Certification program made the Passive House investments possible with a reduced interest rate and commissioning reimbursement, and MassSave Passive House incentives helped fund feasibility studies and construction costs.