Collective Housing: Linking Ecological and Social Sustainability
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A constellation of challenges, including changing family types and shrinking household size, housing affordability, and ecological impact, can be addressed through a different approach to private dwelling. These are widespread challenges, but the challenges of affordability and changing demographics are acutely present in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, making it a fertile site to explore these issues. The thesis design addresses this constellation of challenges by adding layers of shared space to individual dwellings. The design draws from cohousing: common houses with shared facilities, parking at the periphery, massing the buildings around pedestrian circulation, and creating shared outdoor spaces. Cohousing is hybridized with a “big house” idea which puts dwellings for three to five families in a single building, where the main rooms are shared by all. Through these features the design encourages a sense of community, while taking advantage of shared facilities to improve affordability and reduce environmental impact.