The Cohousing Toolbox #2
Many thanks to those who have submitted suggestions for The Cohousing Toolbox. We'll be including suggestions until they run out! Submissions.
Going solar? The savings are dancing like sugar plums in your head. Of course you want to know how much it is going to cost. Answer: Big bucks. But, you are going to MAKE money when you hook up to The Grid. You will start selling your unused electricity back to the electric company.
There is another marker to consider. It's the logistics of what it takes to get your brand new energy-saving system actually connected to The Grid. This is called "Interconnection." Some states are abysmal at hooking you up while others are high fives.
After investing the GDP of a small country, the last thing you want is for your system to sit idly by in the sun catching rays but not returning any money to your pocket. Which is your state? To help you make the best decision before you invest, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council has just released it's Freeing the Grid scorecard. With this handy tool you can easily see where your state scores. Arizona, North Dakota, Nebraska, Louisiana and a bunch of others -- bad dogs! Hawaii, New Mexico, Ohio and seven other states: High Fives!
Susan Adams of Jubilee Cohousing, a forming group in Floyd, Virgina highly recommends ZenLunatics Mosaic software program for building a website for your cohousing community.
Susan cites this tribute from the Cohousing-L email list written by Mary Baker, a resident of Sonora Cohousing in Tucson, Arizona.
"I second the use of ZenLunatics’ Mosaic program. I have used Google Docs, Yahoo Groups, various calendar systems and various project management systems and I highly recommend this program—the other solutions would all have to be cobbled together and would be awkward and incomplete. For cohousing, the Mosaic program is easy, intuitive and comprehensive. You can create as many calendars and reminders as you want, make reservations, track charges for dinners and rentals, archive documents, and have both personal and team emails and archives. There’s also a rudimentary discussion forum ability, and a module for a mini-social-media for photos and announcements—it looks like Facebook but is a private module for the coho only."
Check out the website!
Thank you, Susan, for forwarding this tool for inclusion in The Cohousing Toolbox. Do you have a tool to share? Send to Ann.
Need fax forms? Flyers? Name tags? Cash sales receipts? Stationery? Flags? Tags? Invitation? For sale? For Rent? If it's something you print ... freeprintable.net has it for FREE!
From the website:
Put your printer to work! FreePrintable.net provides beautiful FREE printable files that you can customize and print on your inkjet or laser printer.
There are 99 sites in the Free Printable network: click one of the links to get started.
Printables for Business
Printables for Everyone
Printables for Home
Printables for Kids
Share a tool! Send your thoughts, comments and suggestions to
Interview with Chuck Durrett on Shareable
Chuck Durrett, along with his wife Katie McCamant, brought cohousing to the US and Canada with the first edition of their book COHOUSING: A CONTEMPORARY APPROACH TO HOUSING OURSELVES published in 1988. Since then there have been two more edition of the book with more than 150 communities have been completed in the US and Canada. Chuck and Katie's firm has worked on more than 50 of them. Chuck is interviewed by Ann Bergen Miller for Shareable.
Sunday, February 7, 2016, 2:00 pm, New Member Social EcoVillage Arlington, Virginia, Boccato Gelato & Espresso, 2719 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201
Saturday, March 5, 2016, tour Takoma Village Cohousing in Washington, DC. Sign up via Washington DC Area Meetup.
Saturday, February 20, 2016 come out for the Visitor Day at Heathcote Community! Freeland, Maryland.
Heathcote Community, a 50-year old intentional community and permaculture demonstration farm, is seeking proposals from families or groups who would like to be Associate Members of Heathcote and rent Heathcote’s farmhouse for a year.
From the Mid Atlantic Cohousing website:
Find out how cohousers spent the Blizzard of 2016 by visiting this photo array on the Mid Atlantic Cohousing website. We'll be adding photos and text as they become available so check back.
From the Cohousing.org website:
Saturday, April 30, 2016 Have you registered for the unique opportunity to promote your community along with others around the country through the National Cohousing Open House Day ?
This will be a great way to strengthen the bonds within and between communities while lengthening your waiting lists and filling openings. It will help generate new interest nationwide as well, thus more communities can emerge over time. Sign up using this form.
Aging Better Together: May 20-21, 2016Salt Lake City, UtahDiscover how you can live a powerful purposeful life in cohousing!The conference holds the keys to creating a highly functioning senior friendly cohousing community. You will learn how to get started, meet the people who can help make it happen, and discover best practices from others who have already made the journey.
There is something for everyone - those exploring the idea, newly forming groups or existing communities with aging members.
Do you have an announcement? Send your
5-Ws: Who, What, Where, When, Why + contact info!
Wikipedia defines the term passive house (Passivhaus in German) as refering "... to a rigorous, voluntary standard for energy efficiency in a building, reducing its ecological footprint. It results in ultra-low energy buildings that require little energy for space heating or cooling."
This article looks at how the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency by including Passive Haus benchmarks in Low Income Housing Tax Credit application not only generated energy efficient housing but more of it. Developers saw incorporating the Passive Haus standard as a way to gain a little edge in the awarding of contracts for building affordable housing. Now the housing is not only affordable on the front end ... it's affordable on the back end by saving owners money in energy outlays. According to the article in Planetizen: "The resulting energy cost savings to the tenants could help break the cycles of poverty that cause people to need affordable housing in the first place."
From the website: Designed for a client with environmental (chemical) sensitivities, +HOUSE is a manifestation of a sustainable and healthy approach to building that does not sacrifice design.+ HOUSE is embedded with a wealth of complex, health sensitive materials and methods. Built of inert cementitious blocks that inhibit the growth of fungi and molds, the walls are finished with a natural clay plaster that requires no paint finish. A soy-based sealer was used for the concrete floors and counters, and untreated silk and hemp fabric was used for the curtains.
The client was equally interested in environmentally responsible design. Achieving a healthy house for both client and environment meant extensive research into a wide range of products and locally produced materials suited to the climate. A green roof, heat-mirror triple glazing, solar shading, passive ventilation and daylighting, and a geothermal system are just some of the features of this LEED Gold-targeted project.
It's a plane!
It's a ski run!
Not built yet but it's oh so wonderfully weird every municipality should have one -- or more --complexes that combine housing and ... skiing!
Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) started this craze with its plans to build a trash incinerator with a chair lift to allow people to ski down one side of the building.
But why limit skiing to industrial buildings when you can ski right outside your front door? It will be located in the Kazakh capital city of Astana. If you like weird, if you like bizarre then you will like Astana and you will understand why skiing and housing go together.
Ann Zabaldo is a passionate promoter of cohousing. She was on the develoment team for Eastern Village in Silver Spring, MD and Takoma Village in Washington, DC where she lives. She serves on the Board for MAC.
See cool blog for Emerson Commons.