3 Affordable Approaches to Sustainable Housing

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Let’s face it: most homes that boast features of “sustainability” are expensive. These 3 sustainable housing initiatives are working to change that….

Obviously we know that living a more sustainable lifestyle is good for the planet. But while you might love to buy a “green” or sustainable home, with all the eco-friendly bells and whistles, reclaimed wood, solar power, geothermal heating, etc., the fact is that homes like this can be pretty darned expensive!

This is why it’s exciting to see sustainable housing initiatives taking shape across the planet, especially those with an eye towards affordability.

Only when we are able to provide affordable and sustainable housing opportunities for the majority will a more sustainable way of living become truly mainstream.

The article below discusses three affordable approaches to making sustainable housing the norm – both in urban areas and elsewhere.

A Real House for an Affordable Price

If a government grant offered $20,000 to go towards the construction of a new home, would it be possible to create the entire home for that amount? Rural Studios of Alabama has been tackling that question for just over a decade. The result is an impressive display of sustainable home building, with several model homes developed using just $12k of materials and $8k of labor.

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…Rural Studios’ accomplishments offer a concrete example of building homes that are both sustainable and affordable.

Are Tiny Houses the Future of Sustainable Living?

Tallahassee, Florida has a huge homeless population, with one of the driving factors being the area’s $1,050 median monthly rent required to obtain an apartment. Knowing there had to be a better answer to the affordable housing crisis, a local businessman…, has proposed a tiny house community consisting of sustainable homes ranging from 250 to 400 square feet. The community, tentatively named The Dwellings, would offer communal spaces such as an organic garden and shared areas powered by solar panels.

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 Saving Green by Going Green in Urban Areas

Recent housing projects in Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and New York City take a different approach to sustainable and affordable big-city living. These apartment complexes, which offer both market rate and low-income monthly rents, take advantage of solar paneling to reduce the cost of heating water by 35 percent. Rooftop solar panels can also supply electricity to certain common areas of each building….

Each of these apartment complexes is located in a major metropolitan area with easy access to public transportation and the ability to walk to complete many errands. Other features include a large community garden, rainwater containers that collect and release run-off in a more efficient manner, and sidewalks created with permeable paving material….

To learn more, read the full article at SustainableCitiesCollective.com

Image Source: Rural Studio

 

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