Our Houses and Land

Buildings:

Dining RoomWe welcome new owners/builders with a desire to design their own homes using a form of green, energy-efficient building.

As of November 2012, one home is for sale.

We built our initial six homes in 2007-2008 clustered in threes on two cement pads.
Each interior is individually designed.  We chose the location and the pad design in order to maximize the wildness of our remaining eight and a quarter acres.  We have a maximum of four potential sites left, three in a cluster, and one where we originally envisioned the common house.  (The latter could hold a single two story home, a duplex, or a home/garage combination.)  The sites for these potential new homes have infrastructure in the ground, but design is open.

DenOur original six homes are single story, super-insulated, Five Stars Plus Energy rated, and range from 1100 to 1500 sq ft. Our building cost was approximately $180-$200 /sq. ft., plus a share of the common site work. A local builder familiar with our project recently suggested that a new owner-builder might be able to build with a cost closer to $150/sq. ft.  “The devil,” he added, “is in the details.”  Owners are responsible for financing the building of their homes.

Our clustered homes have external walls composed of 6″ SIPS (structurally insulated panels) and a shared firewall in a link room, about 8’ x 10’. Current homes use this space in a variety of ways: as a study, as the laundry, instant hot water and the HRV ventilation system area, or as a large walk-in closet/storage area.  Sources of heat vary:  propane, radiant heat floors, electric from the grid – but do not include wood burning. We are low in the valley and concerned about air quality as well as fire risks. Four homes have added photovoltaic panels on their roofs.

Our super insulated homes utilize an air circulating system (HRV) which brings fresh air in from the outside in winter, warms it up, and circulates it in the house.   Passive solar orientation invites the sun’s warmth in winter and, with three foot roof overhangs on all sides, helps contains coolness in summer.  There are no basements or attics; most garages include a 4′ x 14′ storage room.

Triple pane windows include internal shades which require no cleaning.  Current homes are 2 BR, 1-2 baths, dining-living-kitchen space, and were designed with accessibility as a value.  Owners have added decks or patios at additional cost.  All homes look south onto the common vegetable garden, our meadow surrounded by woods, and the hills of New Hampshire across the nearby Connecticut River.