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||Demonstration Site: Takoma Village|
Takoma Village, located in northwest Washington, DC, consists of 22 townhouse-style buildings divided into 43 one-, two-, and three-bedroom units. As of March, 2001, construction has been substantially completed, and a ribbon cutting event is scheduled to take place on May 4. All of the units have been sold, and 42 of the 43 properties are now occupied. And while Takoma Village has garnered a fair amount of attention for being DC's first co-housing project, where residents can take a turn at cooking a group meal, share the cost of some condo-owned appliances and equipment, and be a part of what's come to be known as a 'conscious community', the building itself also speaks to more mainstream values, in that it clearly illustrates the role of affordable, energy efficient, infill construction as a catalyst for urban renewal.
Indeed, there are many in the Capital Region who regard Takoma Village as a particularly welcome addition, and have been following its progress. Attractive, reasonably priced, high quality housing has become a scarce commodity in Washington, and sustainable, resource-efficient housing that's within the reach of most middle class homebuyers is rarer still. However, with PATH's help, Takoma Village is showing other area builders and developers how it's done. Perhaps more importantly, the project has taken shape right in our nation's own backyard, where policy- and lawmakers can see for themselves how sustainable, green buildings serve as a real asset both to their surrounding communities and to the nation as a whole. Regardless of one's personal beliefs or political affiliation, designing for efficiency and performance makes good economic sense especially as energy costs continue to rise and unfettered availability can no longer be taken for granted.
PATH's Takoma Village demonstration project originally broke ground in November 1999, in a ceremony attended by leaders in housing, finance, media, and local government, along with a number of the community's future residents. Through the design development and bidding stages, some of the more ambitious building technologies initially investigated by PATH (such as solar domestic hot water systems, renewable framing materials, and building-integrated photovoltaics) had to be scrapped in order to keep construction costs and the purchase price well within the affordable range. Nonetheless, many PATH-evaluated technologies and design enhancements survived the 'value engineering' process, and are now incorporated in the finished project.
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