Sustainable Co-Housing: A Solution to Urban Living Challenges
Sustainable living has become an important and the main concern for every person in the modern world because of the approaching threat posed by climate change. Sustainable co-housing is a creative response to this issue that has received a lot of attention in the context of urban planning. A form of intentional community called co-housing offers shared living quarters for people or families. It is a cutting-edge method of urban living that encourages social interaction, community development, and a sustainable way of life.
Sustainable co-housing intends to minimize the adverse environmental impacts caused by domestic construction. It focuses on reducing carbon emissions, waste production, and energy usage. Utilizing renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, wind turbines, and rainwater collection systems, is part of the co-housing idea. It also emphasizes the utilization of environmentally friendly construction supplies like bamboo, and recycled steel.
Sustainable co-housing encourages social interaction and community building, and this is one of its key benefits. Residents of co-housing share communal spaces like kitchens, gardens, and living rooms, which fosters social interaction and a feeling of community. Residents may live happier and healthier lives as an outcome since they are more linked to their neighbors and have a community of support.
A very good example of sustainable co-housing is a project by Bittoni Architects in LA. Common Melrose, a communal living complex with 23 bedrooms that is meant to be an “affordable alternative to traditional living arrangements.
The 8,400-square-foot (780-square-metre) development is broken up into four units, each with ground-floor communal space and a series of bedrooms on an upper level. On the ground level, one finds a living room, kitchen, dining area and laundry room. The public area is designed to “cultivate day-to-day social interactions for the building’s tenants”, the team said.
Sustainable co-housing may benefit residents economically in addition to promoting sustainable living and development of communities. Residents may reduce their living costs by sharing resources and utilities like electricity and water. Residents of co-housing can combine their funds for buying environmentally conscious technologies like solar panels, which can yield long-term financial rewards.
Depending on the specific needs and choices of the residents, sustainable co-housing can be designed in a variety of approaches. While some co-housing communities are constructed around a shared common house, others are built around a common courtyard or garden. The common house might have shared amenities like a guest room, a community kitchen, and a laundry area. Flexible, adaptable, and environmentally friendly design concepts are emphasized in the growth of viable co-housing communities.
1.First image from: www.wearetown.co.uk/projects/marmalade-lane/ (Marmalade lane – A Co-Housing Project in Cambridge
2.Second to Fourth images from: https://static.dezeen.com/uploads/2023/01/bittoni-architects-common-melrose-architecture-residential_dezeen_2364_col_1.jpg
3.Bittoni Architecture Project Reference: https://www.dezeen.com/2023/01/31/bittoni-architects-co-living-la/
4.Stein, S. (2020). Sustainable Cohousing: Building a Green Community: https://www.sustain.ucla.edu/sustainable-cohousing-building-a-green-community/
5.United Nations Environment Programme. (2019). Sustainable Housing. Retrieved from https://www.unep.org/resources/report/sustainable-housing
6.Gorgolewski, M. J., & Komisar, J. (2018). Sustainable Co-Housing: From Community-Based to Community-Driven Design. Springer International Publishing.