Ecovillage Construction Update 4/2015

21 04 2015

Up on West Hill in the town of Ithaca, work progresses on the “Common House” apartment building for EcoVillage’s third neighborhood, called TREE (Third Residential Ecovillage Experience, following its first two, FROG and SONG). Since the end of December, exterior finishes have made their way onto most of the 4-story building; offhand it looks like some type of composite siding along with wood paneling, which adds character and brightness to the building’s otherwise muted appearance. Some sections have yet to be exterior finishes applied, and the housewrap is still visible. Balconies are being built on the northwest corner, but have yet to begin installation on the southeast corner.

The Common House will hold about 15 units, ranging from studios to 3-bedrooms. My previous back of the envelope calculation suggests 25-30 bedrooms in the building. When the Common House is finished later this spring, the TREE neighborhood, with 25 owner-occupied homes as well as the 15 apartments, will be complete, two and a half years after the first homes started construction.Planning for the TREE neighborhood began in 2007, but financial setbacks and the late 2000s recession resulted in an extended incubation and planning process, including a revision that increased the number of housing units from 30 to 40.

Construction is being handled by a local firm, AquaZephyr, which received an award from the U.S. Dept. of Energy for a “zero energy ready” home constructed as part of TREE. The designs of the Common House and houses are the work of California architect Jerry Weisburd.

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4 responses

22 04 2015
Cornell PhD

Wouldn’t dense new construction like this be much more eco downtown rather than sprawled out in farm country?

22 04 2015
B. C.

They are aware. But they feel their CSA and previous plans for the site (a traditional subdivision, but the developer went bankrupt in the 1990s recession) justify it.

“We are criticized by smart growth advocates, who say that we built on a greenfield too far from the city…the local food produced at EcoVillage outweighs the disadvantages of being outside the city limits. ” – Pg. 25 of http://tompkinscountyny.gov/files/planning/energyclimate/documents/EcovillageLessonsLearnedfinal.pdf

27 04 2015
Cornell PhD

Ha, as if those of them who work in the fields couldn’t occasionally commute from Ithaca and actually produce more on that site given there wouldn’t be buildings all over it…

18 06 2015
Seven Years Later | Ithacating in Cornell Heights

[…] from a foundation to near completion, Planned Parenthood wrapped up its new building, Ecovillage is ready to open their new apartment building and Stone Quarry is nearly finished. A few smaller projects, like 140 College Avenue in […]

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