Fall Home Improvement

Page 3

FALL HOME • Addison Independent, Thursday, September 29, 2016 — PAGE 3C

Neighborhood offers unique twist

Co-housing has shared & private spaces

By CHRISTY LYNN BRISTOL — Construction of a new housing development is under way in Bristol’s downtown that introduces a somewhat atypical living style to the area. As a departure from the era of voluminous space and energy intensive homes with rooms only used when company arrives and whole floors that get closed down to save the heating expense through

the winter, this development seeks to create modest private living spaces grouped together in a cluster and with community spaces that enable residents to share those seldom-used amenities and spaces among a wider network of people. Bristol Village Cohousing has just broken ground this month and will soon unveil a 2.5-acre community with 14 private living spaces and several communal spaces that residents will all share. Founders and supporters of the project envision a community that is walkable to the village center and that promotes a vibrant sense of connectedness both within their property boundaries as well as outward into the broader

neighborhood. Residents plan energy standards that we had to share meals together, create determined were important, space for casual gatherings, and fit within a relatively make collective decisions tight budget,” Terwilliger and foster sustainable and explained. conscientious choices. Three historic Read this story online at The project got off addisonindependent.com buildings existed on the the ground back in 2012 and watch a video of the site to begin, and the when co-founders Peg dismantling of a building original concept was Kamens and Jim Mendell to restore and salvage during site preparation purchased the three as much from these for this project. adjoining properties on buildings as possible, North Street, just a block maintaining them as the to the north of Bristol’s downtown. public face of the community from The conceptual design progressed the street level, much as they have with Katie Raycroft Meyer, a been for over 100 years. landscape architect who lives in The 3,800-square-foot Peak the neighborhood and was able to House, built in 1861 at 16 North St., help with the initial site plan. They has been a historic beacon together navigated the legal limits of in the neighborhood and the site, determined the number of will be retrofitted to units that would be permissible and serve as the community’s identified the landscaping goals in Common House. It will the community. house guest rooms, a library Kamens and Mendell then turned space, a large shared kitchen to Middlebury-based Vermont and several other collective Integrated Architecture, or VIA, spaces for gathering. to further develop the site plan and The Tomasi House at 8 North building plans and detail how each St. will be retrofitted would come together. from the inside They set high standards for energy to accommodate efficiency from the outset of the two housing project and throughout the concept units and and design process have made upgraded to careful decisions about building meet modern materials, design and long-term high energy sustainability, says lead architect e f f i c i e n c y Jean Terwilliger. standards. The “Part of our design challenge building at 12 was to develop a character for this North St., however, community of buildings that fit into is not able to be saved the neighborhood, but also meet the and while it may look

Stay green even during the whiteouts of winter (MS) — Each season presents its own unique set of challenges. From summer heat waves to spring rainstorms to snowfall in winter, the planet throws a lot at its inhabitants. Living an eco-friendly lifestyle is often simple. But sometimes the weather can make it hard to maintain a commitment to going green. Winter weather can be particularly challenging, as it can be hard to sacrifice convenience and comfort in the face of harsh weather. But there are ways to stay true to your eco-friendly roots even when winter

weather is at its most unpleasant. • Save your fireplace ashes. If your home has a fireplace that you like to cozy up next to in winter, you can make great use of the ashes left behind when the fire goes out. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, ashes from wood-burning fireplaces can be added to compost heaps. Once added, these ashes help to create a soil amendment that can deliver valuable nutrients to your garden. After each fire, collect the ashes rather than sweeping them up

and discarding them. Then add the collected ashes to your compost pile when the weather permits. • Install a programmable thermostat. If you don’t already have one, install a programmable thermostat in your home. The Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy notes that homeowners can save as much as 10 percent a year on heating and cooling costs by turning their thermostats back 7 degrees to 10 degrees F for eight hours per day. Set the thermostat to drop 10 degrees F when the family leaves for











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work and/or school in the morning, programming it to return to a more comfortable level when the family returns home at night. This saves you from sitting in a cold home while also saving you money by making sure you are not paying to heat an empty house. • Have your home heating system inspected before winter hits full swing. Home heating systems, including boilers and furnaces, should be inspected by a professional each year, ideally before the arrival (See Staying green, Page 14C)

roughly the same barns, sheds and from the street, behind “A community parking lots for the front façade the like this brings it access to the various building will be torn back and kids … units. down and replaced know that they are SQUARE with a new building, welcome in more FOOTAGE this one designed to C o l l e c t i v e l y, homes and spaces units accommodate four range in size than just their own. from 880 to 1,350 family units within. A fourth multi- Relationships and square feet and family building will trust form, and we offer two to three be constructed on the believe in those.” bedrooms. Each streetscape at 14 North — Jim Mendell new unit is designed St.; it will house three with an open floor units. To the rear of plan for the living these units will be a wide common room, kitchen and dining areas and green space, with sitting areas, south-facing windows to maximize public gardens and walkable paths daylight and passive solar heat leading between each residence. gains, says Terwilliger. There are Surrounding the other three sides three apartments just on the first (See Bristol Cohousing, Page 7C) of the green are five single family “cottages” as well as a few

Architects at Vermont Integrated Architecture in Middlebury work to develop sketches, plans, renderings and detailed construction drawings to help describe each of the units as well as the site for the future Bristol Village Cohousing development. Drawings provided by Jean Terwilliger, Vermont Integrated Architecture

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