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Santa Fe Cohousing Community “We Choose to be Happy”

• Combine sustainable building technology's with sustainable social structure to provide a built environment as well as a social fabric that is self thriving. • “Sustainability” in this context means: once created, the built environment, and also the social fabric, are self thriving. Each self-propagates to retain a lasting and growing community.


“Cohousing” = Community Based Housing Originating in Denmark, Cohousing today can be defined by: • Participatory Process: Future residents participate in the design of the community so that it meets their needs. • Neighborhood Design: The physical layout and orientation of the buildings encourage a sense of community. Cohousing residents own their own individual private homes, arranged to allow neighbors to easily share activities and facilities, while at the same time protecting everyone's privacy. • Common Facilities: Common Facilities on the property are designed for daily use by residents. Such facilities are supplement to the private residences; uses vary depending on the desires of the group. For example: Garden, clubhouse, dining room. • Resident Management: Residents manage their own community and also perform most of the work required to maintain the property. • Non-hierarchical structure and decision making: Leadership roles naturally exist, but no one person has authority over others. • No shared community economy: The community is not a source of income for its members. There are no shared financial arrangements, apart from the expenses of shared facilities and grounds. There are no shared religious or spiritual beliefs.


The Process: It’s the Journey The community development process can be summarized into four main stages: 1. Initial Formation, Organizational and Visioning It’s the climb…together. Marketing, committed group

2. Design, Planning and Land Acquisition Land, zoning, builder partner, “membership”

3. Development and Construction Presale money and pre-quals, PM & design, construction financing

4. Mature Community Sustain community with activities and outreach


Logistics and statistics

• • • •

Land: 1-2 ac urban, 3-5 ac suburban Legally: Condominium Association Qualified members: 25 households Reduce risk to developer/builder to attract financial partner

• All units pre-sold is pretty compelling • Simple repetitive design, small 1000-1500 sf • Lock in construction cost (pre-fab) and don’t make changes, no delays

• The Commons: W Alameda: 28 Units (plus casitas), 4.9ac, single family, 1-2 story • Durham NC Coho: 24 unit, 3 story, 0.6 ac, Urban


Architecture Urban or Rural‌


Core Value: Green Building How do we build Green most effectively? • Set Priorities and Intention • Builder Partner • Construction techniques and procurement are equally important


Core Value: Net Zero Energy or Carbon neutrality • Definition: Design a great shell that uses very little energy and then use alternative energy production systems to produce any additional energy required Photovoltaics Geothermal Wind; cooling tower Passive solar (tromb wall, heat sink, proper fenestration) • Mini Grid • • • •


Risk vs Reward • Financial model: same as purchasing a home with mortgage • Risk reduction: “Presales”; Contingent land purchase, construction cost overrun risk limited thru prefabrication; smaller homes; commitment of ownership thru process; cohousing lender pool • Rewards: Residents are satisfied and staying, limited re-sale with wait lists. Shows lenders this is a good investment. Residents gain cooperation, friendships, stability and happiness.

Pam English  
Pam English