Economic realities are a serious challenge to intentional communities, both at startup and beyond. This fact has been at the forefront of all our discussions on Piedmont Ecovillage’s finances. Simply put, we each feel we have been careful stewards of our own money up to now and we intend to carry that care with us into this joint venture.
Affordability is a necessary part of our overall strategy to make this community a reality.
Our goal is to make home ownership as affordable as possible by building all our homes, or groups of homes, at approximately the same time using common design elements and sustainable components.
We will encourage small homes as much as possible to avoid the extra expense of building a house with rooms that are rarely used. The common house will still give residents the freedom to spread out when their small homes aren’t sufficient for preparing meals or completing personal projects, or when guests come to visit and there’s not enough room to house them all.
Our intention is to reduce long-term heating and cooling costs through passive solar design and implementation of green building elements.
We will also lower our need for consumer items by sharing tools, lawnmowers, and other items among residents.
Contributing to the local economy
We’re not interested in simply building a community that’s walled off from our wider local community. As we establish ourselves in our new town or county, we will be looking to work with local contractors, stores, and financial institutions to accomplish our goals. We’ve also entertained ideas about contributing to the local economy after we’re settled in, including starting small businesses and making parts of our common area open for events and activities by the larger municipal community.