Affectionately known as "FRoG" (from "First Residents Group"), EcoVillage's first neighborhood was completed in August 1997.
It was the first completed cohousing project in New York State.
Our community is age-diverse, from toddlers to octogenarians, and includes singles, families, retirees, and students (plus sheep, chickens, dogs, cats...). Among these are homemakers, educators, health professionals, scientists, engineers, and more. The neighborhood is comprised of 30 homes (15 duplexes) lining a meandering pedestrian street, and occupies about 3 acres of the village land. Other physical features of the neighborhood include a one-acre pond (swimming/skating/wildlife), fenced community garden, playgrounds, centralized compost bins, and open fields. The homes range from a one-bedroom (922 sf) to a four-bedroom (1642 sf), while most are three-bedrooms (1350 sf).
The Frog Common House includes a spacious dining/cooking area overlooking the pond, a dish room, children's play room, sitting room, private offices, guest room, multi-use room, teen room, laundry, and storage. Incorporated into the carport structures are a full-featured wood shop, metal shop, and recycling/bike shed.
A variety of strategies were employed to achieve high energy efficiency and improve overall sustainability. All homes employ passive solar design, and are insulated with 6-7" of dense-pack cellulose (recycled newspaper), in an innovative double-wall design which allows the plumbing and wiring to run completely inside the insulating barrier. Triple-paned fiberglass windows keep out the cold while welcoming winter solar gains. South-facing arbors with deciduous vines minimize overheating in warmer months. Heat is provided by an innovative shared hot-water system, with one gas boiler per cluster of six to eight homes. These centralized "energy centers" can facilitate integration of future renewable energy inputs, such as solar collectors or fuel cells. For additional technical information about our heating system click here. Dual drain piping in houses was designed to enable a future greywater re-use system. Interior lighting is compact flourescent, with generous natural daylighting, including the use of solar light tubes in bathrooms. Laundry facilities are centralized in the Common House, enabling the use of high-end resource efficient machines. Some homes have interior insulated shades and/or added thermal mass such as tile floors. Other green features, such as marmoleum or bamboo flooring, were added on an individual basis.
The group is legally structured as a housing cooperative (EcoVillage Cohousing Cooperative), in which members purchase shares that are associated with their unit through a proprietary lease. The group acted as the developer, while Housecraft Builders, Inc. was hired as architect, builder, and development consultant. FROG received an award for "Excellence in Innovative Housing" from the National Association of Homebuilders in 1996.