Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage reaches critical mass with 32 families

12belfast Coho Kids for Xmas illA surge in new members this summer and fall has put Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage in position to build its Common House and complete its ambitious project to build a sustainable community on the coast of Maine.

32 out of the 36 families required for full occupancy are now officially signed onto this self-financed and self-developed community. Nine of the families are already living on site in Belfast. One of the first to move in was Still Water Co-Director Joline Blais, who helped co-found the Maine ecovillage.

Residents enjoy fossil-free heat even in December thanks to ultra-low energy homes designed by GO Logic, whose principal Alan Gibson is also an ecovillage member. Together with its signature “Passivhaus” insulation and heat exchange, Blais’ home is equipped with a roof tiled with solar photovoltaic and hot water panels.

12belfast Coho aug Fest 80 smaAlong with reducing their ecological footprint, community members benefit from a democratic style of consent-making known as dynamic governance. Also known as Sociocracy, dynamic governance is a streamlined way of making communal decisions based on cybernetic feedback principles.

Senator George Mitchell broke ground on the project a year ago in October 2011, which has since been featured in stories on Maine Pubilc Radio, in the Bangor Daily News, and on WCSH and WABI TV. The ecovillage’s prototype home built by GO Logic was declared the 2011 Project of the Year by the US Green Building Council.

There are still two three-bedroom homes available; for more information, please visit MaineCohousing.org

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