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EcoVillage's very green, small house

David Beach  |  04/29/09 @ 9:16am

Residents of the Cleveland EcoVillage celebrated the completion of the neighborhood's latest green building on Friday - the first Green Cottage. The three-bedroom house at 5810 Pear Ave. is expected to have heating bills of just $36 per month. It is also expected to achieve a Gold rating (and maybe the highest Platinum rating) under the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED for Homes green building standard.

"This house will be a cozy and very energy efficient home that not only saves me money - through extremely low utility bills - but also is not harmful to our planet," said the home's new owner Dolores Watson.

The energy efficiency is achieved with thick insulation in the walls and attic, advanced framing techniques, high-performance windows and doors, careful air sealing to prevent leaks, and a 96-percent efficient furnace. Additional green features include a sustainable location (an infill development site in a dense, historic neighborhood served by public transit), capture of stormwater on the site, controlled ventilation and moisture management, Energy Star rated lighting fixtures and appliances, water and water heating efficiency, and materials and finishes that don't off gas hazardous chemicals.

The home also has "universal design" so it will be accessible to people with mobility impairments. It has an open floor plan, and the bathrooms and kitchen accommodate a wheelchair. There is no step at the rear entry. The three-bedroom model of the cottages has a first-floor bedroom.

The Green Cottages project is a collaboration of the Cuyahoga Community Land Trust, Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, Cleveland EcoVillage, Environmental Health Watch, Larsen Architects, Civic Builders, and The Project Alliance. A total of five cottages are planned.

The project seeks to provide green, healthy housing at an affordable price. The Cuyahoga Community Land Trust uses a shared equity homeownership arrangement in which project subsidies are retained in the homes to be accessible to future buyers as well as the first buyers. This helps to maintain affordability in the neighborhood over the long term.

For more information about the Green Cottages and home ownership opportunities, call the Cuyahoga Community Land Trust at 216-334-1620, or go here.

To read the story of how the green cottages were designed and developed, go here.

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