"Community is the secret sauce to sustainability"
- Jim Leach
"Americans currently use 24% of the world's energy while we make up only 5% of the population. If we are to 'save the world' we must strive for more sustainable market-driven housing models that are attractive to an American middle class."
- Katie McCamant
CoHousing Solutions works with future residents to create vibrant neighborhoods that are both environmentally and socially sustainable. Katie McCamant has created sustainable neighborhoods for decades, long before terms like 'climate change' and 'carbon footprint' became popular. Through years of experience we have learned what really works and how to get our home buyers the highest value for their investment.
The sustainable value in cohousing derives from the architecture, design, and social constructs:
Architecture & Design
Cohousing communities are built with environmental factors in mind. Careful consideration for the local climate, natural daylight, and optimizing solar orientation make for highly energy efficient buildings.
Communities steward the land by clustering homes, making for a smaller footprint on the larger site. Not only leaves more land unpaved, it also allows more space for things like chicken coups and organic gardens, and playgrounds.
Clustered buildings also require less building materials than stand-alone construction. Households can combine resources during the construction phase so that each house is created with more sustainably sourced and better quality materials.
Social Sustainability Constructs
We can accomplish more together than we can independently. Living in a cohousing community allows residents to consume less energy, own less material goods, participate in sustainable practices, and rely less on their vehicles. For example, residents of Nevada City Cohousing pour about 1,000 fewer tons of carbon dioxide per yer into the atmosphere than they did collectively before move-in.
Together, the community can afford energy efficient heating systems and solar panels. Community meals and food co-op deliveries reduce shopping needs, and allow residents to eat local, organic foods at a much lower cost. And Concepts like composting, organic gardening, and chicken coops are much more manageable when the responsibilities fall upon twenty households instead of one.
Walking out of your front door to participate in happy-hour is less expensive in terms of time and fuel, than driving across town to a friend's house. And school carpools save parents time, energy, and fuel.
Less obviously, because individual households can combine resources to share some essential goods, each household saves the environmental cost of owning "one of everything". Sharing one lawnmower between twenty households is simply less expensive than every household owning their own. This is conservation at its most basic level: fewer durable goods means less raw materials are required on the manufacturing side, fewer miles are traveled to deliver those goods and less energy is required to install and operate them.