August 24, 2019 at Southdale Library a Cohousing/Energy Education.
Philip Adam on the left and his friend Greg Laden presented the case for getting an electric car as soon as possible! Their presentation was very much appreciated. On screen there were graphs and data that showed how switching to an electric car will not only cut your green house emissions, but improve the local economy as in "Buy Local"
As people switch to electric cars the price of gasoline may also go down for the continued gas users. Who would have guessed that? Technology is being developed to allow idle electric cars to give power back to the grid at peak demand and then be charged at night, thus evening out the peaks and valleys of electric use over 24 hours.
They discussed that some petroleum sources are "dirtier" than other sources, and the tar sands, where Minnesota gets most of its petroleum are some of the worst. They explained how petroleum is "cracked" into different molecules, gasoline is one of the lightest, Then at the very bottom is the bunker fuel oil used on ocean ships.
At the end there is "residue" which can be in asphalt, and can end up burned in Coal Plants to make electricity - but yielding much toxic air pollution with lead, mercury, and cadmium..
In Minnesota the electric generation is getting cleaner as more industrial size wind power is brought on line. Information about the advantages of electric cars is found here from the Fresh Energy website: 2lwej44565rn2mmjlk31pmwq-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Electric-Transportation-web.pdf
We then followed with a presentation a discussion of our urban site search project. The emphasis was on our goal of building to the Passive House Standard, and locating close to transit. Building a multifamily building with many common walls reduces heat loss.
The audience was engaged and had suggestions and questions.
Those attending might be our new neighbors! Here are some California cohousing kids fooling around:
On Saturday July 13, 2019, Bassett Creek Site Search Group co-presented with designer, process thinker and residential sustainability expert Janneke Schaap at the Southdale Library.
As a former Technical Specialist for GreenStar, Janneke evaluated incoming projects for compliance with the premier local green building standard, cultivating deep working knowledge of how Minnesota energy codes and prescriptive green building standards intersect. Her education in Architecture & Sustainability Studies at the University of Minnesota included overlay research of LEED for Homes, GreenStar & Passive House certification programs. Most recently she worked for a local architecture studio that uses Passive House (PHI) as baseline for every project.
She carried this forward to Precipitate Architecture, where she brings eleven years of applied residential sustainability expertise with a focus on resource efficiency, designing for energy reduction and using green building and passive house certification standards as tools to elevate design.
Janneke shared details of their Hook and Ladder project which brings affordable apartments to NE Minneapolis. Precipitate conducted detailed economic analysis to show the benefits of Passive House Standard on one of the two affordable Apartment buildings to compare and contrast.
She reviewed a number of ways to improve occupant comfort and lower energy bills such as: optimizing building shape/size/orientation to sun; continuous insulation; air-tight construction; high performance windows; and continuous ventilation with energy recovery to supplement with renewable energy. Janneke also discussed net-positive energy- or buildings that produce more energy through on-site renewable sources than they use- which in turn "exports" excess energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate climate change. This creates resiliency in case of power outages, reduces operating expenses, and increases property value. It’s the ability of a system (building, community, person) to bounce back and thrive in the face of a changing and uncertain future.
Janneke emphasized that Precipitate is dedicated to ongoing research and development to stay cutting edge and exceed customer’s expectations.
There was lively Q&A throughout, then Bob Lynn, and Kath Johnson presented their Urban Site Search Plan for summer 2019.
It’s a limited time offer for those eager to find a site and build a custom-designed neighborhood. All that’s needed is a nominal deposit which will be refunded- no questions asked- if we don’t reach 20 committed folks by 9/30/19.
We have FIVE committed as of August 14.
So if you REALLY want to see the very first standard-setting energy efficient cohousing community in the Twin Cities- JOIN! And for upcoming events, please check MeetUp at https://www.meetup.com/Twin-Cities-Urban-Site-Search-Cohousing-Meetup/
Submitted by Kath Johnson
Saturday April 20, 2019 Bassett Creek Site Search Group held a presentation by Architect Elizabeth Turner at Eastside food co-op. She is a Passive House Certified Architect and shared with us the details of the new Affordable Hook and Ladder apartments being built near Edison High in NE Minneapolis. Her firm, Precipitate Architecture, did the detailed plans and economic analysis to show the great benefits of Passive House Standard on one of the two Affordable Apartment buildings 2212-2320 Jefferson St. NE.
There was lively discussion, and then Bob Lynn, and Kath Johnson and Becca Brackett presented the Urban Site Search Plan for summer 2019. Its a limited time offer- band together, search for a site, and your deposit is refunded if we can't get make a big enough group by the end of Sept.
If you REALLY want to get Cohousing moving in the Twin Cities - JOIN!
Next meeting May 5th at the Wedge table.
Last fall, my husband and I visited relatives in New England but first spent a few days at Jamaica Plain Cohousing (JPC) in Boston. Here's a view of its courtyard from third floor walkway with common house at the ground level.
JPC is about a five minute walk from the Green Street Station on the Orange Line of the "T". Fred has been in contact with several JPC folks over the years though Cohousing-L list serve discussions. We had visited them briefly on two other trips. Spending a bit more time allows one to get a much better feel for a community. Our timing was fortunate in that we were able to observe a community meeting and the next night a common meal that was a birthday party for two children. If the party had been in the summer it probably would be on the patio below.
We also had breakfast with at a nearby cafe with few members who were involved with starting the community. They shared some insights from their long process. They overcame significant pollution on the site which had been a rubber factory.
The Skyways JPC
They never gave up!