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Earth Harmony Habitats

The Affordable Mini Co-housing project meets sustainability goals by developing affordable, sustainable, stand-alone housing that is higher density and within the urban community.
Earth Harmony Habitats

David Burdick with Earth Harmony Habitats

The Affordable Mini Co-housing project meets sustainability goals by developing affordable, sustainable, stand-alone housing that is higher density and within the urban community.

Affordable Mini Co-housing

The City of Portland is looking for ways to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, build net zero homes, reduce energy use, create walkable communities, reduce driven miles, reduce solid waste, increases recyclability, promote locally grown food, increase forest canopy and maintain or even increase affordable housing.

The Affordable Mini Co-housing project meets sustainability goals by developing affordable, sustainable, stand-alone housing that is higher density and within the urban community. It consists of building 4 small, highly efficient octagonal, flat roofed homes (600-900 sq ft) on a standard city plot with permaculture garden. Land is owned by a local Land Trust in order to keep it affordable for present and future generations. Homeowners are qualified and earn less than 80% of the medium income for that city.

Features of the home include Net Zero in Energy, Water and Food. Additional aspects to these homes include super insulated (passive house) design, solar hot water and electricity, rainwater catchment, composting toilets. It is intended to meet the Living Building Challenge 2.0.

Consensus decision making, utilized in co-housing, is achieved much faster due to its smaller group size, giving this concept a much more agility and ease of implementation than conventional sized co-housing.

This concept achieves city goals by addressing the foundations of sustainability:

  1. Economic: The affordability of this development allows many more citizens a chance to own a home while maintaining a balanced life
  2. Social: The community of this mini-cohousing is relatively small, allowing for relatively quick decisions.  Community garden and yard allows for good social opportunities. Using bio-intensive gardening practices allows for net zero food situation, thus the community can grow all the food required for the inhabitants of the development.
  3. Environmental:  High density housing--4 homes where 1 would conventionally stand, allows for high density development and reduces the need for expansion and transport impacts.  Homes that have a net zero in water and energy take no net energy and water to run and operate. Composting toilets allow for wastes to be used to nourish the garden soil.

 

This is a demonstration project, with intended completion date of spring 2011. It will be used to present the latest thinking in sustainable design and community development. The project is available on a pro-bono basis to architectural firms, builders and equipment suppliers who would like to demonstrate one of the most sustainable, single occupancy housing approach in North America.

Earth Harmony Habitats
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Earth Harmony Habitats
Net Neutral in Energy, Water and Vegetables
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