From left: Melissa Kops (original project architect), Connecticut housing commissioner Evonne Klein, Bethany first selectperson Derrylyn Gorski; Carla Weil, Capital for Change; Marie Pulito, Rocky Corner; Rob Crowner, Equity Trust; David Berto, Housing Enterprises, Inc.; E.J. D’Ettore, Ion Bank; Dan Batt, Centerbrook Architects; Brenda Caldwell, Rocky Corner; Dick Margulis, Rocky Corner.
Architect’s rendering of Rocky Corner community layout. Computer-generated perspective view by Centerbrook Architects and Planners. Colored pencil by Charlotte Hitchcock. Colors identify the clusters to help you visualize the layout. Actual homes will not be the same color within a cluster.
Actual homes will have optional porches, dormers, skylights, and end windows selected by the original home buyers. Those shown are for illustration only. Buildings and improvements shown NEED NOT BE BUILT (our lawyer told us we have to say that).
To keep construction equipment of scenic Meyers Road, the first order of business is to establish the main driveway in from Old Amity Road, so that can serve as the main construction entrance.
Those of us who could get away in the middle of the day yesterday gathered at Rocky Corner for an eclipse viewing party. “Party” means food, of course.
After some direct observation through approved eyewear, Bobcat showed up with his homemade reflecting telescope and set it up. He projected a good-size image of the sun and gave an off-the-cuff astronomy lesson.
Thanks to Char for the photos.
Third try (sorry about two previous versions of this post). Here is the link: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/cohousing-communities-help-prevent-social-isolation/
Many of us who want to live at Rocky Corner have been reading about and visiting passive houses. Passive houses have been built for years in Europe but they are uncommon in the U.S.
Passive house is the type of design we are working towards for our homes and common house. This design differs greatly from standard American building practices. Passive house design includes: smaller homes, orientation towards the sun, concrete floors that hold and slowly disperse the solar heat, thicker wall and roof insulation, as well as energy-efficient windows, doors, heating and cooling systems.
One of the reasons we hired Centerbrook Architects is for their experience and dedication to design that considers environmental impact. Their knowledge is invaluable to Rocky Corner. Our architect, Melissa Kops, earned a certificate in Sustainable Design and is LEEDS AP and Living Future Institute Accredited.
Rocky Corner’s design committee is working very hard right now trying to balance the construction costs with energy efficiency. We may not achieve the pure, strict passive house standard (mainly due to expense) BUT we are determined to end up with comfortable, efficient buildings that we will happily live in for decades. Melissa is projecting that our neighborhood will be Energy Star certified.
If you or anyone you know is asking: Why are the homes small?
The answer is multifold: Our Rocky Corner homes will be smaller than most American homes and ultimately less expensive to live in. The money to buy a home at Rocky Corner pays for your house plus an additional 4500+ square feet of living space (the common house) and 33 acres of gardens, pastures and play areas.
If you or anyone you know is asking: Why aren’t the blueprints completed yet? or Why don’t we know how much the houses will cost?
The answer is: Planning a neighborhood that will be beautiful, long-lasting and energy-efficient takes time, thought, knowledge and expertise.
With Melissa Kops, Dave Berto (our housing consultant) and architect-trained member, Charlotte Hitchcock on our team, we have all those attributes and more, so hang in there!
In the meantime, here are four cool sites to check out:
Submitted by Marie Pulito, Member of Rocky Corner Cohousing
Woke up this morning to the sounds of hawks and blue jays and an occasional wood thrush. I live in Bethany in the woods.
A few minutes later I found myself in our barnyard surrounded by animals; ducks at my feet, our white cat climbing a tree, chickens scratching the dirt outside the fence, alpacas eating the leaves of a sassafras tree.
I had already gathered chicken and duck eggs, and I had crouched to feed the ducks handfuls of kibble directly into their water bowl. The male duck, Big Al, allowed the females to eat first. The alpacas love to eat green leaves, so I had enticed them to trot after me by lowering the branches of the sassafras tree so they could reach them. I always shake the branches so the rustling sound makes them come running. The alpacas’ bouncing, furry topknots made me smile.
The ducks are on to dessert finding slugs to eat underneath the wet hay. The alpacas, Alfie and Dave, are exhaling in my face; their breath has the sweet smell of root beer.
What could be better than this? Having all of this and more at Rocky Corner Cohousing.
At Rocky Corner I could have cooked my eggs with others in the common house, taught someone how to identify a sassafras tree from its mitten-shaped leaves, found a helper for mucking out the barn. I could have waved to neighbors commuting to work together and other friends weeding the vegetables before the heat of the day arrives.
Community and nature together; nothing could be better than that for me.
Marie Pulito – Member of Rocky Corner cohousing
Imagine coming home every day to a community where every neighbor is a familiar face and everyone has chosen to live in a cooperative, sustainable manner. That’s the promise of Rocky Corner, Connecticut’s first co-housing community. Rocky Corner is part of an international movement called co-housing, and the community is coalescing now around goals including:
- To live sustainably and affordably
- To know our neighbors, balancing private space and community resources
- To balance the urban and rural lifestyle
Join our mailing list to find out more and get updates on this exciting project.