|Introduction to Eric Hart||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Fred H Olson WB0YQM (fholsonmaroon.tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Sat, 12 Nov 94 08:35 CST|
Eric Hart harte [at] free-net.mpls-stpaul.mn.us is the author of this message but due to a email problem it was posted by the COHOUSING-L sysop. Hello fellow cohousers: I've been subscribing to cohousing-l for about a month now and thought I would introduce myself before I jump into the fray. I'm Eric Hart and have been involved in cohousing in the Twin Cities of Minnesota for about 1 1/2 years. I live in Minneapolis and currently have a research internship at the Institute for Local Self Reliance. I have a Masters degree in Urban Studies from Portland State University and am interested in housing issues and sustainable development issues. I have been working as a very part time planning/development consultant for a rural cohousing/ecological community (Riverside) that is in West-Central Wisconsin. Over the summer we had a series of workshops on various topics that the residents would like to see in the development. We covered issues such as alternative waste treatment systems, district heating systems, and super insulated and strawbale construction techniques. I can zap anyone a two page synopsis of what we covered who wants it. I am working with the project architect, Rick Peterson, on a development workshop structure that can be used with other groups that we have developed with the Riverside group. Just let me know if you want further details. Rick Peterson is interested in sustainable development and green architecture issues as well. At Riverside we will most likely use heat pumps that get the heat either from the earth or from a pond in a district heating scheme. This solution is mainstream anymore and is far more efficient than pulling heat from the air. I'm also not sure why a bank would have any trouble with a district heating system. If the development is sold as a condominium development then it is not uncommon to have a shared heating system. In a condo development residents get a fractional interest in what ever common land or facilities are present in the development. I don't know why a heating system would be any different.I wouln't let banks scare you into putting in a less than optimal solution that you'll want to change later. I am 28 years old and am a committed bicyclist (yes, in Minnesota, the whole winter!). I don't have a car nor particularly want one and am interested in ways cohousing can be made more affordable and in urban areas with public transit. When and if I get to design a cohousing community with others I want it to be as "green" and environmentally sensitive as possible. I don't think that being environmentally sensitive and affordability are mutually exclusive. In fact, the most environmentally sensitive solutions are often the most simple and cheapest. As an example, I know an architect (through the Riverside group) who has designed an air to air heat exchanger that is very cheap and effective. He has used this design on a solar greenhouse he designed in SE Minnesota and it works great. It essentially uses the earth as a means to moderate the air temperature. Air is pulled out of the house and funneled into a plastic pipe which has another porous pipe running inside it. These pipes are underground so stay at a constant temperature. The inside air is pushed out the larger pipe while the smaller pipe pulls in outside air. The two air masses mix inside the pipe and what comes back into the house is air that is humidified/dehumidified and heated/cooled (depending upon the time of the year). At this solar greenhouse, such an exchanger lowered the outside air being pulled in by 10 degrees F (82 to 72 degrees). This is just the basic idea, don't try designing a system on these instructions. The architect who designed this system, Roald Gunderson, is looking for work now so any leads would be appreciated. He helped design the human habitat parts of Biosphere II and is very good at finding enviromentally sensitive, cheap solutions to design problems. He has also done work on strawbale construction. I am willing to give what advice and I can via this forum and to pass on any messages or potential leads to Rick Peterson or Roald Gunderson. I would like to see more theoretical and philosophical things being discussed here and also more on alternatives to the cut and dried cohousing development with townhouses in a remote, car dependant suburban location. I like cohousing but don't want it to become just another thing that developers do in suburban locations. The movement needs to stay in touch and openly solicit what people want from their living environment and find ways to do that affordably and as environmentally sensitively as possible. Oh, by the way, I know Fred Olson the Sysop for cohousing-l and have been in a few core groups here with him. Well, I've rambled on long enough. Bye. Eric Hart harte [at] free-net.mpls-stpaul.mn.us Minneapolis
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