Mixed-Income 'Eco-Village' Planned in Michigan

A net-zero emissions development near Ann Arbor hopes to provide a model for sustainable communities.

January 6, 2022, 7:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Veridian @ County Farm — THRIVE Collaborative Development Visit

THRIVE Collaborative Development Visit / Veridian @ County Farm

A new "eco-village" outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan set to open in 2023 will be "one of the nation's first mixed-income, net-zero energy communities," Jena Brooker reports. Veridian at County Farm, as the community is known, will feature six home models ranging in price from $180,000 to over $900,000, as well as 50 affordable housing units out of a total of 160 homes. The all-electric community will prohibit gas appliances and use solar energy for its power, while one-third of the property will be dedicated to food production. 

According to Brooker, "The development will be a certified Living Building Challenge, an international sustainable building certification that requires buildings to produce more energy than they use, or create a positive impact on the environment." Veridian's designers paid close attention to every detail—windows, insulation, lighting, heating—to ensure that the community fits sustainably into the local ecosystem. The village will be connected to greater Ann Arbor via bus lines, sidewalks, and bike lanes, putting residents within easy reach of shopping, services, and public transit.

With housing producing roughly 20 percent of the nation's greenhouse gas emissions, Veridian's developers and boosters hope the project can serve as a blueprint for similar net-zero communities around the country.

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