Synergy & Sustainability
Date: Thu, 6 Jun 1996 20:45:34 -0500
<<<<<  Synergy and Sustainability  >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

We here in the Synergy group consider our community a sustainable cohousing
community.  We are and will consider as many sustainable options as possible
when designing and constructing our community.

We are bound by financial considerations, as are so many of the things in
cohousing.  But we will be making every effort to reduce our impact on the
environment and to set an example for communities, both cohousing and other

Our direction has been this so far . . . . .
*Use of land - We will be building attached units. 
*Building Material - We will be constructing our homes and our POOL with the
use of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS). R-27 The company known as Golden Planet of
Florida is being considered.  ~ They've just open up a factory in Ft.
Lauderdale, 30 minutes from our site. ~
* Hot Water - Infrastructure will be laid to employ solar hot water systems
in all the households.  It is our hope that the hardware will NOT be an
option, meaning that every household will come with solar hot water hardware.
* PV - Infrastructure will be laid to allow easy installation of PV panels
and other hardware.  ( One household presently owns the PV ( Photovoltaic )
hardware that will take them off the grid when their home is finished. ) It
is our hope that a majority of households will employ some use of PV because
of our pre-laid infrastructure.  We will also look to purchase a quantity of
PV hardware for cost effectiveness and convenience.  This will necessitate
some type of sponsorship from a PV hardware manufacturer.
* Orientation - Our homes will be oriented to the sun, for energy efficiency
and light.  As the sun is a consideration, so is the wind.  The prevailing
wind the area comes from the Southeast.  ( Although we've not yet begun our
house design charette, we will be heavily considering transoms with our doors
and windows. ) We have an objective of using as little air-conditioning as
possible.  Surviving in Florida with some shade and a breeze.
* Water -  In South Florida water management is a serious issue. Over
population and poor management have put the region in crisis.  Much of the
Everglades and the Florida Bay have been tainted by saltwater intrusion, by
pesticides from sugar producers, and invasive plants that some numbnuts
brought here over the past 40 years.  Water is Florida's most valuable
natural resource and we intend to demonstrate to communities that they must
be part of the effort to make it better, not worse.  
 Our plans include - Cisterns, low-flow water appliances.  
* Gas - We're intending to have our ovens, stoves and air-conditioning run on
natural gas.  More sustainable than electricity.  ( Some of our limited
heating needs may also utilize natural gas. )
* Lighting - We will be designing both indoor and outdoor energy efficient
lighting fixtures and systems.  When the appropriate time comes, we will be
researching and implementing the appropriate products and power supply. 
 e.g. Compact Florescents, Sun Pipe/Tube (Type) Products, self-contained
solar powered exterior lighting systems, automated regulation systems and
others.  The objective:  Use the least amount of energy to cover our lighting
needs.  Our lighting philosophy also puts emphasis on (eye) comfort,
aesthetics and controllability.  
* Community/Household Automation - We will be researching the use of  systems
that will automate our lighting, Security, AC and air cleaning systems.  
* Recycle/Reuse - We'll have an internal convenient recycling program.  
 We will attempt to utilize as much recycled materials in construction. e.g.
Plastic Lumber. 
 We'll reuse as much materials as we can.  
 We'll recycle all the building materials we can.
* We will be setting up BBS that will let members know if one member will be
making a run to cleaners, post office, grocery shopping to save on the amount
of trips to outside amenities.
* We'll have one lawn mover instead of 30.
* The list will go on as we grow. . . . . . . . .

If you have any questions please give me an e or a call. (954-921-0434)
There's always something else we can do, so if you have any ideas please
forward over.  


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