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Northfield's Energy Future RENew Northfield and Community Energy

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					                          Buffalo Commons Village

   Cohousing: A new living option for the Northfield area?

Interested in learning about an innovative approach to environmentally friendly, enhanced
neighborhood living that is gaining popularity worldwide? Come to an informational meeting
about a proposed carbon-neutral cohousing development for the Northfield area!




                   An informational meeting hosted by:

7:00 pm Wednesday, April 30th                           Questions?             507.210.4012
Northfield Public Library meeting room                www.sustainablecommunitysolutions.com
210 Washington Street, Northfield, MN               bruce@sustainablecommunitysolutions.com
                 What is cohousing?
Cohousing is a type of collaborative housing in which residents actively
participate in the design and operation of their own neighborhoods.
                 What is cohousing?
Cohousing is a type of collaborative housing in which residents
actively participate in the design and operation of their own
neighborhoods.

It is characterized by private
residences with all the features of
conventional homes (kitchen, living-
dining room, bedrooms), but with
access to extensive common
facilities. This type of housing
began in Denmark in the late
1960s, and spread to North
America in the late 1980s. There
are now more than a hundred            Source: Cohousing Association of the United States
cohousing communities completed                              http://www.cohousing.org/
or in development across the
United States and Canada.
The six defining characteristics of cohousing:

1. Participatory process. Future residents
participate in the design of the community so that it meets
their needs. Some cohousing communities are initiated or
driven by a developer. In those cases, if the developer
brings the future resident group into the process late in
the planning, the residents will have less input into the
design. A well-designed, pedestrian-oriented community
without significant resident participation in the planning
may be “cohousing-inspired,” but it is not a cohousing
community.                     Source: Cohousing Association of the United States
                                                          http://www.cohousing.org/
The six defining characteristics of cohousing:

2. Neighborhood design. The physical layout and
orientation of the buildings (the site plan) encourage a
sense of community. For example, the private residences
are clustered on the site, leaving more shared open
space. The dwellings typically face each other across a
pedestrian street or courtyard, with cars parked on the
periphery. Often, the front doorway of every home affords
a view of the common house. What far outweighs any
specifics, however, is the intention to create a strong
sense of community, with design as one of the
                                Source: Cohousing Association of the United States
facilitators.                                         http://www.cohousing.org/
The six defining characteristics of cohousing:

3. Common facilities.           Common facilities are designed for
daily use, are an integral part of the community, and are always
supplemental to the private residences. The common house
typically includes a common kitchen, dining area, sitting area,
children's playroom and laundry, and also may contain a
workshop, library, exercise room, crafts room and/or one or two
guest rooms. Except on very tight urban sites, cohousing
communities often have playground equipment, lawns and
gardens as well. Since the buildings are clustered, larger sites
may retain several or many acres of undeveloped shared open
space.                             Source: Cohousing Association of the United States
                                                            http://www.cohousing.org/
The six defining characteristics of cohousing:

4. Resident management. Residents manage their
own cohousing communities, and also perform much of the
work required to maintain the property. They participate in
the preparation of common meals, and meet regularly to
solve problems and develop policies for the community.




                             Source: Cohousing Association of the United States
                                                   http://www.cohousing.org/
The six defining characteristics of cohousing:

5. Non-hierarchical structure and decision-
making. Leadership roles naturally exist in cohousing
communities, however no one person (or persons) has authority
over others. Most groups start with one or two “burning souls.” As
people join the group, each person takes on one or more roles
consistent with his or her skills, abilities or interests. Most
cohousing groups make all of their decisions by consensus, and,
although many groups have a policy for voting if the group cannot
reach consensus after a number of attempts, it is rarely or never
necessary to resort to voting.
                                Source: Cohousing Association of the United States
                                                      http://www.cohousing.org/
The six defining characteristics of cohousing:

6. No shared community economy. The
community is not a source of income for its members.
Occasionally, a cohousing community will pay one of its
residents to do a specific (usually time-limited) task, but
more typically the work will be considered that member's
contribution to the shared responsibilities.




                              Source: Cohousing Association of the United States
                                                    http://www.cohousing.org/
Why Cohousing?
                 Why Cohousing?
  Cohousing communities balance the traditional
advantages of home ownership with the benefits of shared
common facilities and ongoing connections with neighbors




                        (Used with permission of Nubanusit Neighborhood and Farm,
                         http://www.peterboroughcohousing.org/why_cohousing.htm)
                 Why Cohousing?
  Cohousing communities balance the traditional
advantages of home ownership with the benefits of shared
common facilities and ongoing connections with neighbors
  Smaller, attached and/or clustered homes take up less
land, reducing the negative environmental impact of
development and preserving more land for natural
vegetation, wildlife, and recreation




                        (Used with permission of Nubanusit Neighborhood and Farm,
                         http://www.peterboroughcohousing.org/why_cohousing.htm)
                 Why Cohousing?
  Cohousing communities balance the traditional
advantages of home ownership with the benefits of shared
common facilities and ongoing connections with neighbors
  Smaller, attached and/or clustered homes take up less
land, reducing the negative environmental impact of
development and preserving more land for natural
vegetation, wildlife, and recreation
  Smaller homes with a shared common house have a
smaller "carbon-footprint" by consuming fewer resources to
build, maintain, and heat
.

                         (Used with permission of Nubanusit Neighborhood and Farm,
                          http://www.peterboroughcohousing.org/why_cohousing.htm)
                        Why Cohousing?
  Cohousing communities balance the traditional
advantages of home ownership with the benefits of shared
common facilities and ongoing connections with neighbors
  Smaller, attached and/or clustered homes take up less
land, reducing the negative environmental impact of
development and preserving more land for natural
vegetation, wildlife, and recreation
  Smaller homes with a shared common house have a
smaller "carbon-footprint" by consuming fewer resources to
build, maintain, and heat
  Cohousing neighborhoods are among the most promising
solutions to many of today's most challenging social and
environmental concerns. (Used with permission of Nubanusit Neighborhood and Farm,
                                   http://www.peterboroughcohousing.org/why_cohousing.htm)
Buffalo Commons Village:
   What’s envisioned?
       Buffalo Commons Village:
          What’s envisioned?

  Must first emphasize that the following is open to
   discussion and revision and is presented for the
                      purpose of

KICKING OFF AND GUIDING DISCUSSION!!!

 …however, if the guiding principles don’t
  feel like a pretty good fit, this may not be
               the place for you…
              Buffalo Commons Village:
                    Proposed site
 Proposed
    NW
 Business                          Proposed
   Park
(440 acres)                           site
                                     (20.68
                                    acres)
         Buffalo Commons Village:
            What’s envisioned?
Guiding Principles
1. Community consensus decision-making in design and
   operation
2. Intergenerational
3. Mixed income
4. Ethnic diversity
5. Mixed use: residential, commercial and agricultural
6. Minimum environmental impact
7. Maximum protection of natural and agricultural land
          Buffalo Commons Village:
             What’s envisioned?
Sustainable Design Elements
  20 to 40 units of carbon-neutral/zero net energy cohousing clustered
  on ~ 3 to 4 acres of land
  Modest square footage in private homes (with a pre-determined
  maximum square footage depending on number of bedrooms)
  Maximum use of reused, recycled and local materials in construction
  Timber frame barn procured through a southern Minnesota firm
  specializing in barn disassembly/reassembly, and reassembled on-
  site for use as the Community House/workshop/happenings center)
  Maximum use of reused and recycled-content materials
  Maximum use of local content materials
  Highly water-efficient
              Buffalo Commons Village:
                 What’s envisioned?
Sustainable Design Elements
  Private well water
  On-site wetland stormwater management and wastewater treatment (eliminating need for
  municipal water/wastewater infrastructure)
  Pedestrian and bicycle-friendly design (location is about 1.25 miles from downtown Northfield,
  easily accessible by foot or bicycle)
  Shared community vehicles to reduce need for private vehicles. For example, one of each:
         a. biodiesel-powered VW Jetta Sportwagen or equivalent
         b. all-electric ZENN Car or equivalent
         c. biodiesel-powered pickup
         d. Surly Big Dummy cargo-hauling bicycle with Stokemonkey electric assist)
  Clustered periphery parking and minimal hard surface
  Pervious surfaces for all roadways and walkways
  Community garden space (~1 to 2 acres), compost site, greenhouse, chicken house and root
  cellar
  Community open/play space (including toddler/young child areas and ~1.5 acre
  soccer/baseball field, ~5-acre wetland, ~10 acres other wooded/open green space)
  Eventual addition of commercial greenhouse for 12-month production of high value hydroponic
  vegetables for the community and local market
    Buffalo Commons Village:
Shared vehicles—some possibilities
              55-mpg
              2009 VW Jetta
              Sportwagen




                              All-electric
                              Zenn Car



                              Surly Big Dummy
                              Stokemonkey
                              human-electric
                              hybrid (300-pound
                              cargo capacity)
       Community garden,
       greenhouse,
       chicken coop and…
55-mpg
2009 VW Jetta     ?
Sportwagen




             All-electric
             Zenn Car
                   Buffalo Commons Village:
    Possible green building/zero net energy features
Goal:
 No initial increase in combined mortgage and utility costs
                                    55-mpg
 Significant life-cycle savings     VW Jetta
                                        Sportwagen
Example:
Standard house: $200,000 total cost, $40,000 downpayment, 5.75% 30-yr mortgage
     Total combined mortgage costs over 30 years:                $336,136
     Total combined water/sewer/electricity/natural gas costs:   $190,389
                          Total mortgage and utility costs:      $526,525

Buffalo Commons house (zero net energy):
$270,000 total cost, $54,000 downpayment, 5.75% 30-year mortgage
     Total combined mortgage costs over 30 years:                $453,784
     Total combined water/sewer/electricity costs:                $12,904
                          Total mortgage and utility costs:      $466,686

    Life-cycle savings (including tax benefits): $77,000

Internal rate of return on additional $14,000 investment in downpayment: 23.9%
(utility savings, tax credits, increased mortgage interest deduction)
               Buffalo Commons Village:
Possible green building/zero net energy features

                                     55-mpg
Super-insulated, tight shells with passive solar design
                                     VW Jetta
Mixture of single family, duplex, triplex and four-plex buildings, with either
                                     Sportwagen
    insulated concrete form construction utilizing high fly ash content
  concrete with in-floor radiant heating, or
             Buffalo Commons Village:
Possible green building/zero net energy features
 Super-insulated, tight shells with passive solar design
                                    55-mpg
 Mixture of single family, duplex, triplex and four-plex buildings, with either
                                    VW Jetta
     insulated concrete form construction utilizing high fly ash content concrete
                                    Sportwagen
   with in-floor radiant heating, or
     timber frame structures (salvaged local barns reassembled on-site)
   with structural insulating panels and in-floor radiant heating
              Buffalo Commons Village:
Possible green building/zero net energy features
                                     passive
 Super-insulated, tight shells with 55-mpg solar design
  Mixture of single family, duplex, triplex and four-plex buildings, with either
                                     VW Jetta
      insulated concrete form construction utilizing high fly ash content concrete
                                     Sportwagen
    with in-floor radiant heating, or
      timber frame structures (salvaged local barns reassembled on-site) with
    structural insulating panels and in-floor radiant heating
 Highly energy-efficient windows and doors, appliances, and lighting
 Cooling and primary heating provided by a central ground source heating
and cooling system (shared ground loop in a horizontal field).
              Buffalo Commons Village:
Possible green building/zero net energy features
  Super-insulated, tight shells with passive solar design
  Mixture of single family, duplex, triplex and four-plex buildings, with either
                                     55-mpg
      insulated concrete form construction utilizing high fly ash content concrete
                                     VW Jetta
    with in-floor radiant heating, orSportwagen
      timber frame structures (salvaged local barns reassembled on-site) with
    structural insulating panels and in-floor radiant heating
  Highly energy-efficient windows and doors, appliances, and lighting
  Cooling, primary heating and domestic hot water provided by a central ground
source heating and cooling system (shared ground loop in a horizontal field).
  Backup heating provided by high-efficiency central biomass boiler(s)
(supplemented by in-home high-efficiency woodstoves as desired)
              Buffalo Commons Village:
Possible green building/zero net energy features
  Super-insulated, tight shells with passive solar design
  Mixture of single family, duplex, triplex and four-plex buildings, with either
                                     55-mpg
      insulated concrete form construction utilizing high fly ash content concrete
                                     VW Jetta
    with in-floor radiant heating, orSportwagen
      timber frame structures (salvaged local barns reassembled on-site) with
    structural insulating panels and in-floor radiant heating
  Highly energy-efficient windows and doors, appliances, and lighting
  Cooling, primary heating and domestic hot water provided by a central ground
source heating and cooling system (shared ground loop in a horizontal field).
  Backup heating provided by high-efficiency central biomass boiler(s)
(supplemented by in-home high-efficiency woodstoves as desired)
  Solar water heating, and 100% of net annual electricity use supplied by
photovoltaic and/or small wind energy systems.
              Buffalo Commons Village:
Possible green building/zero net energy features

                                    55-mpg
                                    passive
 Super-insulated, tight shells with VW Jettasolar design
 Mixture of single family, duplex, triplex and four-plex buildings, with either
                                    Sportwagen
      insulated concrete form construction utilizing high fly ash content concrete
    with in-floor radiant heating, or
      timber frame structures (salvaged local barns reassembled on-site) with
    structural insulating panels and in-floor radiant heating
  Highly energy-efficient windows and doors, appliances, and lighting
  Cooling, primary heating and domestic hot water provided by a central ground
source heating and cooling system (shared ground loop in a horizontal field).
  Backup heating provided by high-efficiency central biomass boiler(s)
(supplemented by in-home high-efficiency woodstoves as desired)
  Solar water heating, and 100% of net annual electricity use supplied by
photovoltaic and/or small wind energy systems.
  100% of the biomass (wood from the oak woodland and/or biomass from
restored prairie) would be produced sustainably on-site
              Buffalo Commons Village:
                    Proposed site
 Proposed
    NW
 Business                          Proposed
   Park
(440 acres)                           site
                                     (20.68
                                    acres)
Buffalo Commons Village:   N
      Proposed site
         Buffalo Commons Village:            N
               Proposed site




                           7 acres of
                           rental cropland
9 acres of
oak woodland
and scrubby      5-acre
second-growth    wetland
woodland
     Buffalo Commons Village:
           Proposed site




Cropland: view from northern knob, looking south
   (near center of proposed housing cluster)
          Buffalo Commons Village:
                Proposed site




5-acre wetland: view from northeast corner, looking southwest
   (fair ecosystem quality, good candidate for restoration)
: Hillside root cellar                                                                                                       Scale: 1” = 155’
                                       Buffalo Commons Village
                                         33 residential cohousing units
: Four-plex

: Community House
                         Buffalo Commons Village:          : Soccer/baseball field/skating rink              : Parking (pervious)
                                                                                                                                    155’




: Duplex                    What’s envisioned?
                              : Pedestrian walkway           : Community garden space
                                                                                                           : Hiking/skiing trails
: Single-family                : Community greenhouse          : Chicken house
                           : Open-air pavilion/shelter       : 6-stall garage                            : Driveway (pervious)
                                                                                                  33 units plus community house
                                                                                                  20.68 acres total
                                                                                                  17.00 acres in permanent easement
                                                                                                  Property lines:




                                                                                                                                           662’
          Buffalo Commons Village
        …and Buffalo Commons Farm?
                                   55-mpg
                                   VW Jetta
The project would ideally include an additional 125 acres of adjacent land
                                   Sportwagen
(95 acres is currently rented as cropland; about 30 acres is high quality
oak woodland). If this land could be added to the project, it could enable:

  conversion of about 90 acres to restored prairie
  use of about five to 10 acres for vegetable and fruit production.
  use of about 70 acres of the restored prairie for management intensive
grazing (bison and chickens)
  use of the remaining 20 acres of prairie (the perimeter of the property)
and the oak woodland for a hiking/cross country ski trail network, with the
perimeter prairie being harvested annually for a hay/biomass crop
Buffalo
Commons
Farm???
Bruce Anderson
507.210.4012
bruce@sustainablecommunitysolutions.com
www.sustainablecommunitysolutions.com




  Next steps???