Just a few blocks from Crozet’s downtown district is a little one acre parcel of land that was once the home to part of a much larger apple orchard. A few of the old apple trees remain and a tenacious grove of bamboo has colonized the stream bank. Today this plot is completely surrounded by houses, has public water, sewer and electricity, and is an easy walk from coffee shops, post office, a new Library, restaurants, stores and loads of small town charm.
The concept for this one acre parcel just north of the intersection of Jarman’s Gap Rd and Orchard Dr (two lots) in Crozet is to build two houses that have attached accessory units that even though they are attached, feel like their own completely separate houses. This is done by clever house and window placement, utilizing the existing topography as an advantage. The houses are designed to be net-zero ready, using such
Entrance from Orchard Dr
little energy that a few solar panels on the roof or mounted remotely can power them while providing superior indoor air quality and comfort for the residents. The houses are placed on the site to capture their outdoor spaces, making them comfortable and loved. The grounds will be planted with native plants as well as non-invasive food producing orchard trees. The existing street will be lined with shade trees and rain gardens. The houses are also designed to fit in with the existing neighborhood’s one and two story ranches in scale, color and texture.
See the full designs here and contact me if you would like to buy one or design something like this for somewhere else!
Categories: Architecture, Design, Tiny Housing
Tags: Affordable housing, architecture, Charlottesville Virginia, Conservation, craftsmanship, Crozet, detail, greenhouse, low impact, Neighborhood
Check out the latest and greatest plans for the buildings of Ecovillage Charlottesville designed in collaboration with Øesch Environmental Design featuring compact, energy efficient living spaces in the form of flats and townhouses with a large indoor/outdoor shared kitchen and dining area spaces on the rooftop and the utmost attention to livability, natural light, privacy, energy efficiency, and functionality.
See the latest designs here:
Categories: Announcements, Architecture, Communities, Design
Tags: 480 Rio Rd, architecture, community, Ecovillage, Energy, environment, Passive solar building design, Sustainability
Earth Sheltered Greenhouses use the fact that the earth is a stable temperature all year round to greatly extend the growing season. These were known to native people as walipini or “place of warmth”
There are so many different types of greenhouses and clever adaptations that books upon books have been written on the subject. Has anyone seen really clever designs in action?
Two great classes are coming up in the charlottesville area, both are donation funded and located at the Ivy Creek natural area. The first is an introduction to Underground Housing on Sunday, April 20, 2014 from 11am – 7pm. If you’d like to get a little background before you go, look up Malcolm Wells in google!
The second is an introduction on shaping the landscape to build soil, improve fertility, and make food for yourself! Sunday, May 4, 2014 from 11am – 7pm in the Ivy Creek Natural Area Educational Building. If you’d like to get a little background before you go, look up Permaculture Earthworks in google!
Categories: Announcements, Architecture, Design, Gardening, Resilience
Tags: architecture, Gardening, greenhouse, low impact, Passive solar building design, Permaculture, Resilience, Swales, Underground Housing
The latest version of the Ecovillage Charlottesville site plan is finally here! The project has picked up a ton of traction lately, so keep checking www.facebook.com/EcovillageCharlottesville for status updates.
Here are some renderings for one idea of what could be built… House designs inspired by http://www.rosschapin.com/ and http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/
If you feel like drawing your own idea for what the Ecovillage could look like, here are some 8.5×11 printable sketches that make it easy for the ideas to flow onto paper. Please share your ideas!
I like this idea for how to re-purpose all of those ancient school busses. All you need to do is put up some insulation and better finishes and BAM! House.
In the quest to live simply, there are many online resources available. The Tiny House Blog is a great one, focusing on living in small spaces. They have compiled a fantastic directory of tiny house designers, builders, blogs, and more. If you’re really into exploring the vastly different styles and construction types of small housing, then this is a great place to start!
Jay Shafer is at it again; one of the visionaries behind the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company is out with a brand new spin-off: Four Lights Tiny House Company. Running in the same vein as Tumbleweed, but expanding on the idea, literally. A few of the new designs utilize the full width allowed on the road allowing for a lot more space. This is less portable (you need a professional driver) but far more livable for two people.
Have you ever wondered why skyscrapers sway back and forth in the wind yet are made of steel and concrete? You aren’t alone. Several people are taking the idea very seriously, most notably Micheal Green, who wrote an open source guide for us about how it can be done!
Don’t forget to join us today at the James River Green Building Council luncheon on Tuesday, June 11th 12:00 — 1:00pm to learn about how to make our built environments more resilient!