Building Design with Solar Energy

In the previous post, Karl and Laurel shared their cohousing story. In their 3 years with Richmond Cohousing, they have experienced both the toil and the fulfillment of getting a cohousing project off the ground.  They’ve contributed in different ways: Karl took a lead role with the design of the building, while Laurel worked independently with solar service suppliers to reduce the energy impact of our common spaces. 

While the work is on different aspects of the project, there are a lot of commonalities in the tasks and activities. Every other week, they each share their progress with the group, gather other feedback and opinions, and make decisions. By being exposed to these projects, they have both experienced learning a tremendous amount of technical jargon, business tactics, and zoning and building regulations, but have also learned about the history and current state of the city, made connections, and grown relationships and ties within the community. 

Karl and Laurel have also had to balance competing values. With the building process, Karl has held the tension between accommodating the needs of structural design with the desires of the community. If we ask for more hall space or a larger kid’s room, something else has to give. Meanwhile, Laurel has balanced the costs and benefits of implementing different kinds of solar treatments at different times in the design process, a complicated act considering the number of ways we could do it.

Together they are a team within the larger cohousing team: self-organized, self-disciplined and self-regulated. They attribute their ability to take on these daunting tasks to the power the group generates in support of a mutual goal. With community members like Karl and Laurel, the sun certainly shines on our new adventure. We’d love for you to be part of it.

If you are interested in learning more about the available units in Richmond Cohousing, contact the Membership Team at info@richmondcohousing or 804.592.6091.

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