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Affordable Solar Housing Builds Common Ground For Workers

solar housing architecture
Lopez Island off the coast of Washington is  increasingly expensive place to live, and it is harder for low income workers to afford to live there. So  Mithun and the Lopez Community Land Trust have built an eleven unit affordable housing development for $3.5 million on land owned by the land trust.


But they have gone further than just affordability, and built an environmentally and socially sustainable community.  The size of each unit is tiny: this reduces energy use and resource waste. A 33 KW solar system provides electric power and each unit also has solar thermal to heat water.

Each unit has Energy Star rated appliances.Rainwater is captured and reused in toilets, laundry, and irrigation, and the toilets and showers are lo flow. Fruit and vegetable gardens on-site  encourage healthy and sustainable eating.

The walls and the roofing is super insulated. All but the South wall have straw bale insulation. Thermal mass to soak up the warmth of the sun is provided by concrete flooring.  There are trellises to shade the lower windows.

Solar Housing2 architecture

The aptly named  Common Ground is built on land that the land trust owns and it will retain most of the resale equity from resale and keep it within the land trust so that the affordability of the development will be maintained in perpetuity for future residents.

Images: Mithun
Source: Jetson Green

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2 Comments so far to “Affordable Solar Housing Builds Common Ground For Workers”
  1. sally qazi Says:

    i live on zanzibar island and sometimes in DAres Salaam. I seriously want to get solar energy for my power needs, at affordable rates. what would you advise? thank you Sally

  2. chetan Says:

    in phoenix Az solar energy has to be made mandatory for all new houses and structures and so with the sun belt states

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