More Reasons Cohousing is Green

Thank you for your thoughtful and thorough article on cohousing in the September issue (


Vol. 11, No. 9). Cohousing groups have been taking the lead in social and environmental innovation for the past decade, and it is gratifying to see this considered closely by


In addition to the many excellent points made by Jessica Boehland in the article, I would like to add a few that may be of interest to

EBN readers. One of the reasons that environmental innovation is possible in cohousing is that design and building decisions are made in partnership between designers and the resident group. This partnership, so unusual in standard residential development, repairs the common disconnect between housing producers and homebuyers. (Many would prefer to live in healthy, environmentally sustainable homes, but they are not given that option in the conventional marketplace.) Second, because cohousing residents are “co-planning” communities and homes where they intend to live for many years, they are willing to consider and pay for lifecycle advantages. Innovative designers who work with them are able to offer sustainable approaches to their clients, even with higher up-front investment. In that sense, cohousing residents are like large institutional clients: universities, hospitals, and public agencies, who have a long view.

In-depth articles on cohousing and green building, from the perspective of residents and project managers, can be found in the Spring 2002 issue of

CoHousing Journal. The Fall 2002 issue, due out in October, is devoted to environmental lifestyle choices that are possible for residents of cohousing communities.

A small correction to your otherwise immaculately researched article––a number of cohousing communities, namely Muir Commons, New View, Pathways, Pine Street, RoseWind, and Sonora Cohousing, are listed as urban communities. These would more accurately be described as suburban developments.

Stella Tarnay, Executive Editor

CoHousing Journal

Cambridge, Massachusetts


Published October 1, 2002

(2002, October 1). More Reasons Cohousing is Green. Retrieved from https://www.buildinggreen.com/op-ed/more-reasons-cohousing-green

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