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Westminster Place at Windy Hill Village

Posted: September 25, 2019 | Projects

Westminster Place at Windy Hill Village offers affordable senior living with a bevy of conveniences. Most treasured are the lower utility bills, thanks to the unique building construction.

Photo Courtesy of Steve Hulbert

Mowery Construction is a cutting-edge construction firm based in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Mowery was recently challenged with the task of completing its first “Passive House” building. Passive house construction is popular in European countries, and slowly making its way to the United States. Buildings which are built to Passive House design and construction standards can perform anywhere from 75% to 95% more efficiently than conventional buildings built to code.

The Windy Hill II project was Mowery’s first attempt at completing an extremely air-tight, highly efficient building constructed under the Passive House requirements. The concept of Passive House is simple: The more airtight the building, the less the HVAC system must work, and the lower the monthly energy bill. 

The project’s lengthy design process began in 2014. Numerous rounds of mechanical system reviews and changes, lengthy architectural detail reviews, and product selection followed. In addition, Mowery worked closely with the design team to estimate and tune the pricing to ensure the final product was as cost effective as possible.  All these tasks worked in harmony to produce the construction documents and specifications for the senior living apartment now occupied in Phillipsburg, Pennsylvania. 

Through close attention to detail, Mowery was able to follow the design flawlessly and execute to the degree that all of Mowery’s clients have come to expect. PHIUS, Passive House Institute of United States, performed several air-leakage tests of the building and was shocked to see Windy Hill’s results as the lowest ever seen by the PHIUS organization — a truly remarkable feat. 

The heating/cooling system consists of four HRV units, one on each floor, which utilize 100% outside air to supply comfortable air temperatures throughout the building. HRVs are a complex unit which treats the air prior to its distribution to the individual AC/Heating units, allowing the individual units to be smaller and extremely cost effective. This approach, accompanied by highly-rated insulation and air leakage control, is what keeps Windy Hill II’s monthly energy bill lower than the average building.

The Windy Hill II facility is in the final stages of review through the PHIUS rating company. It is an extremely prestigious and small group. Many buildings do not make it to final stage, but Windy Hill II is there, and Mowery expects the project to join a growing group of Passive House Buildings in America.

Roofing: GAF
Windows: Intus
Entrances & Storefronts: Kawneer
Access Doors: Nystrom Building Products
Automatic Door Openers: Stanley Access Technologies 
Flooring: Armstrong, Shaw, Mohawk
Lighting: Shaedler Yesco
Elevators: Kone

General Contractor & Cost Estimator
Mowery Construction
1000 Bent Creek Boulevard
Mechanicsburg, PA 17050

Architect & Structural Engineer
Rothschild Doyno Collaborative
2847 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Mechanical & Electrical Engineer
Iams Consulting
333 E. Carson Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Date Bid: Feb 2017
Construction Period: May 2017 to Jul 2018
Total Square Feet: 53,618
Site: 9.823 acres.
Number of Buildings: One.

Building Sizes: First floor, 13,907; second floor, 13,237; third floor, 13,237; fourth floor, 13,237; total, 53,618 square feet.  
Building Height: First floor, 11′1″; second floor, 9′11″; each additional floor, 9′11″; total, 52′8″.  
Basic Construction Type: New/Wood Frame Construction.
Foundation: Cast-in-place. 
Exterior Walls: Wood stud, sheathing, vinyl siding.
Roof: Asphalt shingles.
Floors: Wood.
Interior Walls: Wood stud drywall.