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DVGBC's jury selected the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Authority (PHFA) Project for the 2016 Program Award recognition.  The PHFA Project is the result of the organization introducing language into their competitive funding application process which encourages developers to build to Passive House standards, a hyper-energy-efficient standard.    

The PHFA Project began in 2014 when Tim McDonald, under the auspices of the Architectural Research Center, a think tank housed within the Temple University Architecture program, approached Stan Salwocki and Holly Glasuer from PHFA with the suggestion that all affordable housing be net-zero energy capable by 2030.  McDonald's design/build firm, Onion Flats, had already built Belfield Townhomes, Pennsylvania's first Passive House project, serving formerly homeless families and as a proof of concept that Passive House projects can be built on affordable housing budgets. 

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PHIUS 2015 Passive Building Project Awards

Affordable ­Housing 2nd place: Belfield Townhomes, Philadelphia, PA

The competition recognized project teams and projects that exemplify best passive building practices and accelerate adoption of passive building in North America.

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Award given by The International Passive House Institute, Germany, One of seven projects honored.

The Award is a celebration of architecture, the 2014 Passive House Award demonstrates the great potential and versatility offered by Passive House solutions. Its Purpose: to acknowledge Certified Passive House Building Distinguished by outstanding architectural design.

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GPCC Excellence Award


first annual award for outstanding achievement in the field of excellence

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Belfield Townhouses chosen by Philadelphia Chapter of AIA

FIRST Certified Passiv Haus in Pennsylvania The project involves the development, design and construction of three row homes for the Raise of Hope (ROH) organization for 1735, 1737 & 1739 Belfield Avenue, in Philadelphia. The townhomes are three stories, 1920 sf, and have 4 bedrooms, and three bathrooms, living room, kitchen and office. Parking for one vehicle will be on site for each home and accessed from the rear. The intention of this project is for it to be a model of affordable and sustainable building for the City of Philadelphia. They are designed to be high performance buildings, to achieve Passiv Haus standards and to approach zero-energy status. Onion Flats hopes that this project will demonstrate the economic development feasibility of a highly sustainable buildings for the affordable housing market

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Philadelphia City Paper 2012 BIG VISION Awards: Sustainability & Design

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2011 Good Green Design Award: THIN FLATS

Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design

Good Green Design’s goal is a to bestow international recognition on those outstanding projects that have forwarded exceptional thinking and creativity for a healthier universe.

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ULI 2010 Awards for Excellence: THIN FLATS

Urban Land Intitute 2010 Awards for Excellence: GLOBAL

The Global Awards for Excellence identify the five projects worldwide each year that represent workable, livable, and sustainable models for future development.

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2009 Penn Future Green Building Leader Award

Onion Flats chosen as a leader in building Pennsylvania’s renewable energy

PennFuture Awards Luncheons to celebrate the people, businesses and institutions who blaze the trail toward a cleaner and healthier Pennsylvania. Some purchase green power. Some advance policies that develop the renewable energy market. Some create new renewable supplies.

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2009 Thin Flats awarded the Philadelphia Sustainability Award

Thin Flats chosen by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council as a Leader in the sustainable future of Philadelphia. 

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2009 AIA Honor Award: THIN FLATS

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2009 NAHB National Green Building Awards Competition

Thin Flats selected as the 2009 Project of the Year - Multifamily Condominium

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2008 Emerging Voices Award and Lecture Series: The Architectural League of New York

The Architectural League’s annual Emerging Voices lecture series and award spotlights individuals and firms with a distinct design ‘voice’ that has the potential to influence the discipline of architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design.  Since 1982, the juried series has featured architects and designers from throughout North America who have a significant body of realized work that not only represents the best of its kind, but also creatively addresses larger issues of architecture, landscape, and the built environment.


2015 Architizer A+ Award Finalist

International award nomination under the category of “Architecture + Low Cost Housing” for Belfield Townhomes project.

March 17th


2008 Winner: From the Ground Up: Innovative Green Homes, Architectural Competition, Syracuse NY, $25,000.00

Onion Flats’ entry entitled “TED” was one of three projects chosen through this national competition to design a sustain- able and affordable single family home for the Near Westside neighborhood of Syracuse. The design could not exceed a total cost of $150,000.00 to build. Competition coordinated and managed by Syracuse University School of Architecture, the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environment and Energy Systems and Home Headquarters Inc. Construction begun November, 2009.

November 18th


2007 Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

$700,000 Grant through the Growing Greener II Bond Initiative to be used for the 260KW photovoltaic panel system on Stable Flats

June 13th


2005 Philadelphia Water Department

Award of Excellence for Creative Storm Water Management Practices, recognizing Rag Flats

June 22nd