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October 2020                                                                          Check out our newsletter archive 

Peterborough's Lift Locks are one of this city's iconic sites (and an American Society of Mechanical Engineers Historic Landmark too). Like anywhere in Kawartha, it's a great place to enjoy the fall colours.

Our virtual information sessions on sustainable development continue. Earlier this month we held our third meeting, this time with four experts in Green design. They acknowledged that designing sustainable homes can mean a lot of extra design work, but there's a big payoff if it's done right.

One thing they warned against was missing creative solutions by getting bogged down in false dichotomies. They reminded us of the importance of taking the time to design a strong, robust framework. Do that, and everything else falls into place.

Like most cohousing communities, sustainable development is a pillar of our community. Our Sustainability committee has come up with four principles to define the scope of the task ahead of us, and to clearly state our intentions.

Design and development is definitely on our minds, and we're lucky enough to be able to draw upon the expertise and successes of  cohousing groups around the world. There are many examples of innovative projects to inspire and guide us when it's time to roll up our sleeves and make our dreams come to life.

Of course, the one thing on everybody's mind these days is the pandemic. Its impact varies from person to person, but it's affecting us all. That includes cohousing communities. The Foundation for Intentional Community conducted an interesting survey about how intentional communities have been dealing with COVID-19.

Perhaps it takes something like a pandemic for people to reassess their lives and their communities. Whatever the reason, there's strong interest in cohousing, and we're getting a lot of inquiries about joining our own community.

We would love to tell you more about ourselves, and what cohousing can offer you. Drop us a line at info@kawarthacommons.ca.

Let's look after each other.

Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty. - Anne Herbert
KCC and Sustainability

Our Sustainability committee has done a lot of research into making our community as fully sustainable as possible. There are all sorts of resources out there to draw upon, such as the  Passive House standard, LEED, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Net Zero and Net Zero Ready, and the Living Building Challenge.

One of the fruits of that research is a four-point statement on sustainable design. Scott presented it at our last business meeting on behalf of the committee, and we wanted to share it with you here:
  1. We embrace the aspirational goals of the Living Building Institute and its holistic approach to sustainable design and living, and we endeavour to draw on the wisdom contained in the 'seven-petal approach'.
  2. We acknowledge the concept of sustainable building certification with respect to standards and workmanship, understanding that it validates design work and provides quality control.
  3. We acknowledge that sustainable design and construction costs more than conventional construction, and we recognize that KCC will have to arrive at a balance between desirable goals and construction cost.
  4. In decision making, we will all have a say in the process through community engagement in order to mine possibilities and distill choices to what serves the greater good.
The KCC membership enthusiastically endorsed  this statement. It's very much a living document, and while it doesn't get into specifics, it will guide our community in designing and building a project that treads lightly on this earth.

We'll have lots more to say about this in the coming months. Stay tuned!

 
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