My ideal community

I’ll just need to brush up on my german a bit – jah – ich spreche deutsch, kann ich heir leben?

Here is where I want to live. Or, you can all donate millions to my cause, I can buy up all the blocks near my place, buy a few muni employees and representatives, and recreate the model in Spenard!

Note the mention of only having row-houses due to the inefficiencies of single family homes – the whole reason I bought a 4-plex – shared walls! I would like to have townhouse-style units instead of upstairs/downstairs divisions due to the noise and connection to the ground floor issues, but we can’t have it all!

I am hoping to incrementally approach passivhaus standards with my exterior insulation projects. I can’t really go back and insulate under the slab, but I am planning to add R-20+ to the outside of the basement walls down to 4′ below grade then out 2 to 4 feet this summer, then to increase the upper wall insulation by at least R-20 next summer. I don’t like the idea of electric powered heat recovery ventilation. I am a purist, and in my ideal world all my house systems would withstand the lack of electricity. I like passive annual heat storage and its reliance on earth tubes for passive heat recovery ventilation. Oh well, I am still flushing my poop instead of composting it anyway, so no purism attained here yet! It is all a process.


One response to “My ideal community

  1. If you haven’t seen it already (I’m going to bet you have), you should check out “The Co-Housing Handbook” (the UAA/APU Library has it the 1996 edition, it was revised in 2005). It’s kind of a how-to guide for setting up community and architecture and systems to encourage interaction, and sustainable living, based on 30 years of experience setting up communities across North America and Northern Europe. We’ve been reading it together over the last few days. Lots of good insights, that would be useful even in your 4-plex probably (oh burgeoning social engineer), and certainly if one wanted to scale up to Vauban size.

    I think you could have a pretty efficient passive heat recovery system, driven by convective flow. Most of the energy in the passive house ventilators just goes to forcing the air through the heat exchanger. It’s really not that much energy either – you could easily run it off a small (grid-disconnected) solar panel or wind turbine.

    More pictures please 🙂

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