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UBCO students create co-housing project in Kelowna

They say it’s the evolution of sustainable housing in the Okanagan

UBC Okanagan students are contributing to the creation of co-housing in Kelowna.

The engineering and management students and their faculty supervisor will be on hand at a free public open house to unveil the concept, designs and business model for what they say will be an evolution in sustainable housing for the region, according to UBCO in a news release.

“Co-housing should not be confused with co-op, social or low-income housing,” said Gord Lovegrove, associate professor of engineering at UBC Okanagan and project leader. “The co-housing model typically involves 30 committed families who co-develop a property that clusters self-contained, smaller units around a central community dining and activity hall.”

Lovegrove said this community property helps to reduce costs but increases quality of life thanks to shared facilities like a community garden, social hall, craft room, workshop, toddler playroom and laundry, the release said.

“It’s an elegant solution because it addresses many housing issues simultaneously, from aging in place for seniors, to building a sense of community for those that otherwise might be socially isolated, to housing affordability for first-time home buyers,” said Lovegrove.

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Development of the project was supported by fourth-year engineering and management students who were responsible for identifying potential locations, designing site layouts and determining development costs. The students also took charge of creating a viable business model for the project and managing its marketing, the release said.

The open house begins at 7 p.m. on March 6 at the Kelowna Innovation Centre Theatre. A mini-design café will take place at 8 p.m. for those wishing to delve further the details or to become involved in the next steps.


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