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Postgreen Homes – Facades and Floor Plans

by Nic Darling on April 8, 2009 · 30 comments

in Design,facade,floorplan

The 100k house and its neighbor, the somewhat erroneously named 120k, are moving briskly toward the finish line. The build, while a definite success, has been an education for everyone involved. We have learned dozens of valuable lessons about almost every aspect of our buildings, lessons we will soon be sharing with all of you, but for now we are going to begin to answer a bigger question: What are we going to do with all this new knowledge?

The simple answer to this question is the title of this blog entry . . . Postgreen Homes. We are beginning to move forward with our plan to insidiously spread our homes throughout Philadelphia (and beyond?). Like a sustainable, beneficial virus we hope to infect this city with more and more homes that are healthy, energy efficient and well designed. To this end we are looking for land, partnering in potential projects and developing options for our homes. The latter is today’s topic of discussion.

We want to build many homes over the next few years, but even we don’t want them all to look exactly like the 100k. We also don’t want our homes to serve only one type of lifestyle and living situation. While remaining within the definition of our brand, we hope to broaden our appearance and appeal. To this end, we have worked with ISA to begin developing a range of facades and floor plans that we hope will make Postgreen Home’s accessible to a wider audience.


Brian Phillips from ISA often talks about the importance of limitations in the design process. Our homes are all about creating within distinct and difficult boundaries like cost, LEED, Passive House, urban infill and size. These boundaries focus the design efforts and seem to be yielding excellent results. So, in an effort to make him regret his many words on the subject we suggested an additional boundary for the facade design . . . one material. Take that architect.

Well, he definitely took it, and he ran with it. I think you’ll agree that each of these three designs does an excellent job matching material to design and manages plenty of action within strict limits.

The Pixel

This is the facade you all know and many of you love. It is the face of our first Postgreen Homes in the 100k House project. We are very happy with the way its turned out and look forward to more incarnations in the future.

Material: 4×8 James Hardie Panels cut to 2×8
Color Options: Two colors from Hardie’s extensive line.

The Pixel facade option also lends itself well to a future dream we are tentatively calling House Tattoos. How would you ink your house?

The Tiger

This is the facade that will soon take shape on the Passive Project. The rendering is currently in gray scale but there is plenty of room for colorful experimentation.

Material: James Hardie Lap Siding in three widths.
Color Options: Two colors from Hardie’s extensive line.

Postgreen Tiger FacadeThe Brickasaurus
(An awful name created to spur suggestions in the comments. Tell us what to call this!)

This facade is not currently attached to a specific project though it is getting tossed around as a possible facade for several. Think of it as our concession to Philly’s obsession with brick.

Material: Thin Brick (probably)
Color Options: Two color choices from a surprising variety of options.

Postgreen BrickasaurusSeriously, think of a new name for this one or Chad might convince me to call it Sir Bricks Alot.

Floor Plans

Another area where we want to add some variety within the modest dimensions of our brand is in the floor plan and program of the house. We want to provide models that appeal to a slightly broader cross section of people and make this type of living more accessible to other lifestyles. So far we have three basic models, but like the facade options, you can expect that number to grow.

Forgive the tone of the descriptions, but for the sake of time I reused some more “advertisey” descriptions I already had around.


Designed for the artist, the entrepreneur, the entertainer or anyone who has always wanted to comfortably skateboard in their own house, WORK offers the extremes in space usage. One floor is a modest, comfortable living space and the other is a wide open place to work, play or party.

Options: Choose which floor you want open and whether or not you need the optional utility sink.



Based on the original 100k model, LOFT is the essence of urban living. The open floor plan has an obvious disdain for doors and a flair for dramatic open space. This is the house’s answer to the condo. Loft living without the fees.

Options: Most of the options in this plan are probably going to be related to storage.

Postgreen Loft Floorplan

FAMILY understands that having a kid or two should not necessarily signify the end of your happenin’ urban lifestyle. A few doors to allow the young folks some sleep and an extra bathroom for emergency situations convert the loft concept into a family friendly environment.  Healthy, socially responsible living for you and yours.

Options: The downstairs bathroom will likely be an option. There will also be some storage options.

Postgreen Family Floor PlanSo there you have it. The beginning of our customization options and a peek at the direction of our future projects. Now its time for you to give us some feedback (and a better name for Brickasaurus). Get in those comments and tell us what you like and don’t like. Give us a lead on other facade materials you might like to see. Tell us which floor plan fits your life.

Comments GO!

If you enjoyed reading this post I can promise you'll love our new writing over at Postgreen Homes. Yeah, we know that's the same thing your favorite band said and their new album is nowhere near as good as their early stuff, but seriously, we are actually still getting better.

There also isn't much conversation to be had here . . . at least not with us. So come on over to the Postgreen Homes Blog and tell us what you think of our new(ish) digs and crazy ideas. We will be sure to tell you what we think of your opinion.

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 chad April 8, 2009 at 4:04 pm

Mighty Mighty Masonry
Brickenator (Tagline: “I’ll Be Brick”)

2 David April 8, 2009 at 4:50 pm

The name needs to speak to it’s simplicity: The Brick.

3 Peter L April 8, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Under the (misguided?) perspective that modern homes can get away with cryptic designations, here are a few:

HiDenFa (High Density Facade)
The BrikHaus

4 Brett April 8, 2009 at 6:02 pm


5 Rob Morrison April 8, 2009 at 8:32 pm

Cryptic? I’ll give you cryptic…… Call it “the Commodore”

Here’s why-

6 Jarsh April 8, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Brickey McBrickerson

7 Rob Morrison April 8, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Ooops, I see Chad already got there!

8 Dan April 8, 2009 at 8:39 pm

“Less is Mortar”


9 Sonia April 8, 2009 at 11:17 pm

You could call it 36,24,36! In all seriousness, I second the motion for “The Brick”

10 Jameson Detweiler April 9, 2009 at 4:38 am


11 Brian April 9, 2009 at 12:06 pm

I would also vote for “The Brick”.

Has any thought been put to a 3 bedroom configuration?

As an in-fill solution, this would be much more popular and have a considerably higher sale/re-sale value with 3 bedrooms.

12 chad April 9, 2009 at 12:12 pm


Good point. Technically, the “Family” model is a three bedroom, although not in the more traditional sense. We are working on a more typical three bedroom floorplan now. We are taking our time to make sure we can maintain the affordability and efficient HVAC design as a third story will most likely be necessary…

13 Pinkrobe April 9, 2009 at 3:55 pm

“Bricktop” – keep a few hungry pigs in the back yard
“Brick-a-brac” – embed some Hummel figurines in the facade
“Tetris” – random groups of 4 bricks with solar-powered dancing Russian on the roof
“Brick” – your GC would have to be known as “The Pin”, but it works

On a quasi-related note, is it possible to put a 100k on top of a full basement? I imagine it would be, given that the SIPs take most of the load…

14 moderns-r-us April 9, 2009 at 11:12 pm


15 chad April 10, 2009 at 8:07 am

Lick-n-stick is my new favorite. Yes, we can and will put future 100K inspired homes on full basements. Anything that can be done in stick framing can be done with SIPs for the most part…

16 Nic Darling April 10, 2009 at 9:56 am

I love the name discussion, but how are we feeling about the new facades and floor plans? Does anyone think we’ll have any takers for the WORK model? What color combination should we consider for the Tiger (other than the obvious orange and black)?

That said, how about . . .
Brick or Treat
Brik Brak
Rubrick Cube

17 Kevin D April 11, 2009 at 2:39 pm

If you’re going to combine modern with thin brick, you have to consider NOT “bricking” the brick. That is, none of the mortar lines are staggered. Greg L. will know the name for this.
It could save hundreds of cuts, therefore some labor.

18 Jameson Detweiler April 11, 2009 at 5:48 pm

I think the Work model should actually be Work/Play and you should add the option of a wet bar where the utility sink would be. I’d be down with that.

19 Rob April 11, 2009 at 7:19 pm

I think Kevin D. is referring to stacked bond. And I would tend to agree, if you are going with the “lick-n-stick” brick (which I think is a great name) then you cant make it look like normal brick. It needs to be a modern as the rest of the design. Tetris is an awesome idea.
Essentially thin brick is like tiling so don’t think that is always has to be the horizontal and running bond. It could all be vertical, or at an angle. Just have fun with it.

And I also like ” Less is Mortar”!

20 Kristin April 13, 2009 at 12:18 pm

Why not just…..plain…..

“Brrrick Housssse”

21 Kimberly May April 13, 2009 at 2:02 pm

I love everything about this. To be direct…I want one. BUT….I need three bedrooms + the flex space (two kids + one husband). I also feel given the family size, two full baths are a must. Can you do it? Can we build it in Chicago? Where I currenlty live? I will start looking for land now!

22 chad April 13, 2009 at 2:21 pm

Hi Kimberly,

Thanks for the inquiry. I’ll try to answer some of your questions.

Yes, we are working on a 3 bed/2bath plus flex space model that could accommodate a family of four like your own. My first child is on the way and I see this model in my future most likely. The trick is to make sure we keep it affordable. We have ideas, but need to flesh them out with the full team.

Secondly, we are not able to build outside of Philly at the moment, but that doesn’t mean that the right team couldn’t. We have dreams of offering our line of homes nationally in the future, but those are a ways off…

What could be realistic is someone like yourself hiring the 100K team to consult and design you a home that could be built affordably by Chicago’s standards. This might not be as cheap as you are looking for and the key variable, choosing the right builder, is still mainly up to you. Without the right builder, the budget will be blown and headaches will be incurred no matter how good our consulting is…

Thanks again for the inquiry and feel free to contact us anytime via our Postgreen contact info.

23 Pinkrobe April 13, 2009 at 3:35 pm

As far as the layouts go:
WORK – If the main floor is going to be an area where one might be working with clients, I would want a powder room and a wet/coffee bar there as an option. Separating the public/private space should be easy to do if one prefers.
LOFT – Nice! I’d throw a thin curtain or screen across the entrance to the upstairs flex space when visitors came, but nothing permanent like a door. Reduced privacy = shorter residency. :)
FAMILY – Definitely have the option for a main floor powder room in lieu of the full bath.

I don’t know if this has been mentioned, but isn’t it bad Feng Shui to have the stairs directly in line with the front door? ;-)

24 Brian April 13, 2009 at 9:41 pm

Thin Brick-
I’ve enjoyed the discussion about thin brick not playing the field laid game. These renderings really weren’t meant for public consumption – but, I should know better by now. Our intention is to orient the thin brick vertically to emphasize its gravity defying nature.

25 Luke Vivier April 14, 2009 at 2:45 pm

Seconding Brickrolled. And: Bricktator.

Stacked bond is a good idea. I love the terra cotta-like rainscreen cladding on the William H Foege building by Anshen + Allen, which was featured in a Build Blog post you linked to a little bit ago.

26 alberto April 15, 2009 at 9:53 am

I´ve just discovered this site, i´m realy interested, i will read past posts and follow it

27 goran April 21, 2009 at 1:35 pm

What dimensions will be available in the standard plan? Looks like legthwise they should be flexible. Would 25′ wide be possible?

I remember the M&M house was to have a habitable roof with outside stair. Is that something that will be available with any of the designs?

Also, in an earlier post, Chad mentioned that there would be no option to modify the existing window layout by adding picture windows to the back wall. That makes sense from a cost and energy perspective. I wonder if picture windows combined with SIPs would also be difficult from an engineering point of view, because vertical structural members would need to be embedded in the SIP to carry the roof load? Brian?

28 dru April 22, 2009 at 6:01 pm

some great ideas here, and a wonderful evolutions to your business model. the plans look good, but of course will continue to evolve on their own, mostly by consumer demand and further design explorations.
one big concern is the facade design for the “brickloft” scheme. [brickwork, brickfam, brickrow, brick-face, clay face, mud dog <-i'm reaching here]. it’s apparent these are still in development, but the facade seems very stagnant.

since the thin brick panels are inherently constructed in modules, would it blow the cost out of the water to have a couple different sizes of the modules? RE: could a panel contain two sections of colored brick [possibly different proportions]?

Even something as simple as a pinwheel arrangement or varying size checkerboard window pattern could help to this affect as well.

There is a fineness apparent in the detailing of the materials in the two other schemes, but the brick one still feels somewhat flat.

all in all, this is very exciting to follow such an intriguing exploration of “an architecture of economy”.

Thanks for sharing.

PS-stack bond is definitely awesome.

29 lbhirise May 3, 2009 at 7:41 pm


30 Robert Bostwick May 31, 2009 at 3:15 pm

I have seen soem intersting work with brick veneers, since that is what is sounds like you are doing… so you don’t cut as much veneer, try seeing if you can find corner stones. architecurally, they can really bring out a building. i see plenty of corner stone designs in the city when i drive through. One more reason why I’m glad I went for Residential Construction and now I’m at Drexel. 3 years ago I wouldn’t know half of this. lol!

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