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 a couple of cool sites to check out:
Submitted by Marie Pulito, Member of Rocky Corner Cohousing