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I've lived in a green 'affordable housing for seniors' apartment since it was built in 2007, and I love it. There are many nice features. Our building is part of a mixed-use development with market-rate apartments and condos on the property too, joined by a natural area meandering through it. The designer daylighted a creek tributary on this former grayfield site, and it's planted with drought-resistant native species. My apartment is 652 sq. ft. and it's so well designed that it's very spacious and bright. Energy star appliances, green roof for stormwater and insulation, continuous ventilation in the building, low VOC paints, sealants and carpet (no nasty new-home fumes), good windows etc. My electric bill dropped in the winter by $100 a month. Having lived here now, I can offer some suggestions for green apartment buildings, and I'm surprised that these things weren't built into the concept of green living. We only have garbage disposal for food scraps---this is the first time in the last 35 years that I haven't been able to have a compost, and it's been a hard adjustment! And, we have no bike storage, no covered racks, no place on the building to lock your bike under cover---as a result, I never ride my bike, and that's sad. We really enjoy our little balconies, 5' x 10'; I for one grow food and flowers and herbs on it; many of the residents are expert gardeners. And although we have a green roof, we're not allowed to go up there. We wish we had a garden area somewhere onsite, and really wish we could grow some food on that roof! I know it's planted with hardy succulents in lightweight mix and understand some of the challenges of growing on roofs, but maybe a small area of the roof could be adapted. Not just food for ourselves, but to grow for the poor too. Many residents are retired with time on their hands, and would enjoy this form on service that builds health and community.
posted 3 years, 11 months ago
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