Benjamin Obdyke joined forces with The Mission First Housing Group, a collection of non-profit organizations dedicated to creating safe and affordable housing for all, to create an impactful solution for the city of Spring City, Pa. Veterans in the community were experiencing difficulties finding housing to accommodate the challenges they face including building accessibility for those with disabilities.
With help from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) and the Veterans Administration (VA), Mission First Housing Group set out to design and restore what would become The Whitehall Project in Chester County. Architectural Concepts PC and Ram Siding also became involved to help increase the impact and longevity of the building and help address sustainability considerations, building codes specific to disabled persons as well as the impact of moisture.
The Whitehall Project would require a product to control airflow and moisture, an asset to the building owner and ultimately, the once-homeless veterans as occupants. As a proactive solution against swelling and moisture development, Benjamin Obdyke specified Slicker Max. The product’s unique, vertically channeled rainscreen is ideal for drainage and ventilation behind fiber cement, stone veneer, and stucco applications with a filter fabric that provides enhanced UV and compression resistance.
In addition to meeting drainage goals and addressing potential moisture obstacles, Benjamin Obdyke’s Slicker Max will become a critical piece of the building envelope, keeping water and weather outdoors and allowing the builders assurance that Whitehall residents will be comfortable in the facility throughout the duration of their stay.
Built in 1762, the historic building began as a two-story inn and provides plenty of living space and amenities. The Whitehall facility will provide 48 affordable apartments for at-risk veterans and one unit for the on-site superintendent. Residents will also be able to take full advantage of community rooms, kitchens, computer rooms, a fitness room, and a laundry facility. Creating a sense of community was an important objective, as many veterans will now have the opportunity for increased social activities with others who may have had similar experiences while enlisted.
By offering a protective solution to potential climate challenges, Benjamin Obdyke was able to assist with critical updates to the Whitehall’s building envelope. The restoration of the Whitehall is an essential example of the possibilities that emerge when sustainability and architectural design come together to provide accessible housing in the form of a multi-family structure. Benjamin Obdyke hopes to continue participating in similar projects with products that create solutions for the construction industry while positively impacting current and future occupant communities.