3:30 pm15:30

Lessons Learned, Part II

Seven of us went to the Nashville National Cohousing Conference.  Four of us presented on June 4th, but three of us have more to share: 1) Site Design Workshop, 2) Sociocracy (a form of governance), and 3) Mortgages - the latest updates on financing your home.

Come to 2237 Kimberton Road, Phoenxville, gateway to the land we own and meet us!  After our presentations, we will tour the site, then get to know each other better around a potluck supper.  We start at 3:30 pm and end around 6:30 pm.  

We ask that you park down the block at the Kimberton Park parking lot at Prizer Road and walk up the hill 3-4 houses across the street.

Please RSVP with Joel at altairecovillage.com or 610-220-6172.

3:30 pm15:30

Reports from the National Conference!

Sunday, June 4th, 3:30 pm - 6:30 pm

2237 Kimberton Road, PXV


Lessons Learned

Reports from the Nashville National Cohousing Conference

Come hear our members and professionals talk about their experiences meeting other community folks and professionals on topics ranging from Site Planning to Sociocracy.  We will be "recharged" and ready for our next steps toward creating our EcoVillage!

Bring a potluck dish for a 5:30 pm feast.  Learn more about our progress, and see the site!

Park at Kimberton Park - Kimberton and Prizer Roads, 4 doors down the hill and across the street.

May 21

Nashville, Here we Come!

Altair EcoVillage is taking a break from our monthly Discussion Group and going down to the national Cohousing Conference held May 19-21. We're caravaning with member Dave's Tesla, visiting communities on the trip.  The new urban housing group Germantown Cohousing is sponsoring - the first Cohousing community in Tennessee. 

The yearly Conference is almost evangelical, with communities and professionals from all over the country, almost 400 folks predicted to share, brainstorm, and raise the level of energy inspiring the building of sustainable communities.

Our members and professionals will be attending intensive workshops on Sociocracy (the next step up from our consensus process), site planning, development strategies, marketing. We're networking, discussing funding, prepping for our upcoming design workshops - plus, digging the music scene and celebrating.

Come on June 4th for our reports and stories, as we return recharged and ready for the next steps!  Here is the link to the Conference: www.cohousing.org/conference

7:00 pm19:00

PUBLIC MEETING - Meet Altair's Land Planner


Altair EcoVillage would like to introduce our Land Planner, Adam Supplee of Alta Planning, Phoenixville.  Adam has worked in East Pikeland before, and is very familiar with sustainable and low-impact land planning.  He will discuss his background, then turn to a description of the Altair EcoVillage concept and how we got there.  He will address the issues with the Ordinance, the process, and the requirements for approval. Adam will touch briefly on the upcoming "Site Charrette," where the community will be able to provide input on the site planning of the project.

Then, we work with you and field your questions.  Please come with your neighbors to find out more about our efforts, meet some of our future residents and our professionals.

Here is a bit more about Adam:

Adam has over 20 years of experience in the Landscape Architecture and Land Planning disciplines and has been responsible for designing and managing large and small-scale design and planning projects.  He is responsible for the planning, site design and construction administration of various types of projects including public parks, green subdivision and land development projects, brownfield redevelopment, streetscape design, exterior lighting design, trail/bike paths, and recreational design.  With his broad practical experience, Adam offers Planning and Landscape Architectural Consultation to government and private clients utilizing his practical experience to offer balanced reviews, fair opinions and sound design for healthy communities.

3:30 pm15:30

Electric Vehicles!

The full title of the presentation will be: "Electric Vehicles (EV) as Managed Devices in a Renewable Energy Community."  Our speaker will be Dennis Rowan, who manages Rowan Energy Integration.  Dennis is a former energy consultant to Three Groves Ecovillage, our sister community (not yet built) in southern Chester County.

Come to 2237 Kimberton Road at 3:30 pm, Sunday, March 19th, hear the talk, join the discussion, meet some of Altair's members and professionals, then share in a potluck dinner. This is a wonderful opportunity to hear about Altair EcoVillage, get all your questions answered, and explore the new technology around electric cars. Park at Kimberton Park, 4 houses down the road at Prizer Road - unless you have an electric vehicle!

Rowan Energy Integration is an energy management company delivering economic, and energy savings to corporate and community clients. Through energy efficiency programs, Rowan saves clients energy and costs. Our electric vehicle (EV) programs identify savings from replacing combustion that wastes 80% of transportation energy..

Rowan's programs help corporate and  community microgrids reduce costs through energy efficiency, renewable energy and energy choice. Dennis is Co-founder of VSG Energy, LLC which is currently completing a PA. DEP project to manage EV charging with building loads to lower energy costs.

Rowan's EV systems design for microgrid Eco villages promotes energy independence for housing and vehicles. 

RSVP and questions to Joel at 610-220-6172, altairecovillage@gmail.com.

7:00 pm19:00

Altair EcoVillage Architecture, 2/15 7 pm

Come Meet Our Architects

Hear about their past projects, their philosophy and their approach to designing the future Altair homes.  Carnevale/Eustis have experience with historical work, sustainable architecture, and many different building types in our area, and they specialize in working with groups.  

We invite our neighbors and all interested parties to participate.  Learn about what we are planning, get your questions answered, and meet some of our future residents and professionals.

We will meet at the Kimberton Arts Building, 2208 Kimberton Road, Wednesday, February 15th from 7 to 9 pm.  RSVP or questions to Joel at 610-220-6172 or altairecovillage@gmail.com.

3:30 pm15:30

Meet our Zoning Consultant, Site Tour, and Potluck!

Do you wonder what our Site Development Team is doing and who we are? Meet one of our contributors: Robert Smiley, Planning Consultant.

Bob will share his experiences with Townships in his years of writing Ordinances, working with the policies and politics of designating land use and regulations, and talk specifically about his work with Altair on crafting the EcoVillage Ordinance currently in discussion at East Pikeland Township. For Bob's biography, see the About Us tab and go to Team.

We're having a community-wide gathering, and inviting the neighbors, friends, and all those who have expressed an interest in Altair EcoVillage. If you haven't seen the site, tours are available (pending the weather!)

Bring a potluck dish and share good company! The event is at 2237 Kimberton Road, Phoenixville (Kimberton Village).  Call Joel at 610-220-6172 or email at altairecovillage.org for more information.

We ask that you park down the street at Kimberton Park and walk three buildings up the hill and across the street.

7:00 pm19:00

Planning Commission Meeting

The East Pikeland Supervisors favor our project for the Township, and have asked the Planning Commission to help us craft an EcoVillage Ordinance.  We have sent in our draft Ordinance, a revised Sketch Plan, and a draft Impact Study.. We are going to continue the review process with the Planning Commission, and they have promised us WE ARE FIRST ON THE AGENDA.

We need your support!

Come to the Meeting at the Township Building, 1158 Rapps Dam Road, Kimberton, to hear our presentation, respond to comments, and promote our EcoVillage!  The neighbors who have been following our progress and have questioned what we are doing will be there. Will you?

Please RSVP at altairecovillage@gmail.com or call Joel at 610-220-6172, and thank you!!

3:30 pm15:30

Work Party, Passive House Discussion, Site Tour, and Potluck

We welcome one and all!  Seasoned Cohousers, newcomers, colleagues, neighbors, and friends to 2237 Kimberton Road, just up from the Kimberton Whole Foods.  Please park at the Kimberton Arts Building/Kimberton Park parking lot about four doors down from us on the other side of the street.

Want to join others in helping maintain our site?  Bring work gloves around noon or so and we'll clear multiflora, cut vines, clear debris - 

If you have not toured our site, now is your chance!  We'll start at 3:30 and be done by 4:15 or so, then come inside for a presentation and discussion of Passive House design and the prospects of building our EcoVillage using these principles. Bring a potluck dish to share, and we'll feast around 5:45 or so.

Meanwhile, please go to the "About Us" tab, then go to "EcoVillages" to read an article on Passive Houses.  You may RSVP at altairecovillage@gmail.com, or call Joel at 610-220-6172 for more information.

4:30 pm16:30

Healthy Living - toxins, the environment, electromagnetics

Altair EcoVillage invites you to its October Site Tour/Discussion Group/Potluck on Sunday, October 16, from 4:30 to 7:00 pm.  Come meet some of our professionals, members, and friends and learn about the project, see the site, and share a meal!

The topic for discussion will be on developing a healthy green living policy!  We'll be reviewing the issues (and there are many!) and inviting several knowledge speakers:

Lee Sagula is a Building Biologist Environmental Consultant, BBEC, and an Electromagnetic Radiation Specialist, EMRS.  She has been certified since 2000 and conducts EMF home and office inspections via her company, Healthy Homes Consulting, LLC.  Lee has been published in Natural Home magazine and various other publications.  For more information, please visit www.HealthyHomesConsulting.com  Her Facebook page has valuable tips and information posted on a regular basis www.facebookcom/healthyhomesconsulting.

I.   Introduction – What are EMF’s, with Healthy Building bullet points
II.  Demonstration of Magnetic, Electric, RF & Dirty Electricity, with meter demonstrations for each field
III. Summary and questions

May Dooley is a bauscientist with a specialty in indoor air quality, mold prevention and testing in homes.  Altair member Holly Alden will speak about a toxin-free environment as one of Altair Ecovillage's core values.

Please bring a potluck dish to share.  We meet at 2237 Kimberton Road, Phoenixville, and we ask you to park just down the road at the Kimberton Arts Building and walk up three houses and across the street. 

Come be part of the conversation!  We hope to see you here!

4:30 pm16:30


Balancing Shared and Individual: Some Implications in Co-Housing

By Steve Kendall, PhD (MIT'90 / Emeritus Professor of Architecture, Ball State University / Mt. Airy, PA)

Planning an intentional community is an opportunity for a discussion about "what is shared and what is individual." There are many aspects of this, but I'd like to focus on this question in relation to the physical environment....that is, what aspects of the physical environment are decided as a group, and what can be individually determined (initially and over time). This question has been a central part of my career as an architectural educator and researcher, starting with an early interest in Shaker communities and other utopian endeavors. This question - and decision-making methods to address it - remains at the center of my writing, lecturing and consulting today.  

Come see our land!  Come meet our members and some of our professionals!

We are at 2237 Kimberton Road, and you can park a little down the street at Kimberton Park.  Bring a potluck dish of your choosing and learn about our plans for an EcoVillage.

RSVP: altairecovillage@gmail.com or call Joel at 610-220-6172

4:00 pm16:00

Site Tour and Discussion/Potluck Meal

If you haven't seen our 8 acres, now is your chance!  We are excited to show you what we are planning - 35 homes around pedestrian walkways and a Common House, with remote parking, gardens, and open space.

We have a special guest coming!  Bill Hartzell, co-founder of a Cohousing group in Washington State, co-founder of our closest Cohousing neighbor - Hundredfold Farm, near Gettysburg - former Executive Director of the national Cohousing organization will share with us his experiences living in Cohousing, some history of his experiences developing Cohousing, and what CohousingUS is all about.

Come hear Bill, then let us share a potluck meal together!

The address is 2237 Kimberton Road, Phoenixville, and you should plan on parking down the street at Kimberton Park.  

7:00 pm19:00

Planning Commission Presentation

We have a wonderful opportunity to present our EcoVillage concept to the Planning Commission.  They have heard us before, and were somewhat reluctant to allow us the density we asked for, but we have done our homework, and are going to show them what our Village would look like in the context of Kimberton Village and its decided advantages over a typical development.

Adam Supplee, our land planner, will present, and Robert Smiley will be on hand to explain the Zoning changes we are advocating.  It should be an exciting meeting, and we would love your support.  If you favor a pedestrian-oriented, down-sized and energy-efficient cluster home development advocating neighbor cooperation and practicing the principles of permaculture, please share your enthusiasm when the Planners ask the public to speak.

The Meeting is at the East Pikeland Township Building, 1158 Rapps Dam Road in Kimberton. 

5:00 pm17:00

Eco Site Tour & Potluck

Come walk the site with a permaculturist and other professionals!  We have woodlands, wetlands, meadows and their borders - lots of plants and birds to identify and site conditions to talk about.  Meet at 2237 Kimberton Road - gateway to the site, and we'll walk, then talk over a potluck meal.  For further information, call Joel at 610-220-6172.

5:30 pm17:30

Judy Wicks House Tour

All-Electric Open House

Thursday, May 19th, 5:30 - 7:30 PM
Home of Judy Wicks, Fitler Square
(Address will be sent to participants once you have made a reservation)


After seeing the film Groundswell and traveling to Dimock, PA to see the effects of fracking first hand, Judy made the decision to stop buying natural gas and transition her home to 100% renewable electricity.  Her solar array produces the majority of her electricity and the rest is purchased via the grid from a local solar supplier, Community Energy. The contractors Judy worked with will be present to answer your questions. The tour will show the solar array, electric heat pump, high-efficiency electric water heater and induction store top.  Beer and pretzels will be served.

Anyone wishing to ride in together from Phoenixville, please call Joel (610-220-6172) or Rodney (610-291-0937).

Contractors at the Open House:
Micah Gold-Markel, owner, Solar States – solar installer
Kenny Grono, owner, Buckminister Green – green general contractor
Chris Wilson, Unique Indoor Comfort Heating & Cooling – heat pump and water heater
Robert Monk, electrician for induction stove top and upcoming electric vehicle charger
Amy Failing, Community Energy – a locally-owned solar supplier of renewable energy to the grid.

Sponsored by Philadelphia Brewing Company

7:00 pm19:00

Solar Energy Green Team Forum

Meet us on the third floor of Molly Maguire's, 197 Bridge St and hear local solar energy consultant Mark Connolly discuss the solar options: buy, lease, or do-it-yourself.  Mark is advising us on our energy-producing and energy-saving systems for living in community. For further information, call Joel at 610-220-6172.

7:00 pm19:00

Living off the grid

Steve Beebee, member of the Phoenixville Green Team and Owner of the EcoStore on Bridge St will give a talk at the Phoenixville Library titled "Living Off the Grid."  Should be interesting and fun for those of us who want to live in a model housing development for sustainable living.

4:00 pm16:00

Solar for the EcoVillage

Come hear Mark Connolly, solar engineer and head of the Phoenixville Green Team talk about options.  The meeting is at KMS Design Group, 243 Bridge St, Phoenixville. After the meeting, we can update everyone on our progress, answer your questions, go to the site, have dinner...

1:30 pm13:30

LEED House Tour

A former member of Altair couldn't wait to build her own almost off-the-grid house, so she build two (one for her sister) in Schwenksville.  Jackie is very familiar with EcoVillages and was recently on the development team of the Three Groves EcoVillage in southern Chester County.  She is extremely knowledgeable about sustainability.  

Please join us to tour her house! The address is  105 Schwenk Rd,  Perkiomenville, PA 18074.  You can park next to the driveway, but not in the meadow.  Please bring a snack or beverage.
Read more: www.montcopa.org/DocumentCenter/View/3281
12:30 pm12:30

Planning Commission

We are presenting our EcoVillage at the East Vincent Planning Commission meeting on Monday evening, April 11, 7 pm at the Township Building, 1158 Raps Dam Road.  We would like members of the audience to support our efforts to develop an "EcoVillage Ordinance" so we can build the project.  Please come out!

5:00 pm17:00

March Discussion Group & Potluck

Altair is hosting regular informational sessions so folks can drop in, ask our members questions, and learn more about our EcoVillage plans. We have an agreement of sale on a parcel of land and are planning to build homes and a common-house, creating a walkable community in an historic village. Come join us, look over our maps, and make the plans with us.

The meetup & potluck on March 13 is at Centennial Lutheran Church, 1330 Hares Hill Road, Kimberton - starting with a site tour at 4:30 pm at 2237 Kimberton Road, discussion group from 5:00 to 6:15 pm; followed by a potluck supper, ending at 7:30 pm. Please bring an appetizer, main dish, beverage, or dessert to share.

7:00 pm19:00

Green Team Forum on ECOVILLAGES


Walkable Green Kimberton!

Where: 3rd floor Molly Maguire’s, 197 Bridge St., Phoenixville

A discussion about the history of "EcoVillages" and a potential local model - a sustainable housing project in our neighboring village of Kimberton.  What a wonderful place to live and realize a dream of a green housing neighborhood!                                                                         

Hear members of the Kimberton Village Business Association discuss current plans for a neighborhood EcoVillage.  There will be plenty of time for discussion.

Presented by:  Joel Bartlett, Dennis Ray, and Jonathan Gayl       

NOTE:  This venue is on the 3rd floor with no elevator access.  Please respect the restaurant: arrive early to eat downstairs, stay late to order drinks. Use the stairway behind the right side of the bar to access the third floor, THANKS.

 ALL Green Team forums are free and open to the public!

The Green Team's mission is to promote Community, Health and Sustainability. Live, work, play green.

7:00 pm19:00

Site Development Meeting

Our next Site Development Meeting is Sunday, May 17, 7 pm at Customers Bank, 99 Bridge St, Phienixville, PA.  Come to the Community Room - the entrance is the door to the left of the ATM.  Meet our Charter Members, our Developer, and learn the latest developments with the Township Zoning, our costs, our professionals, and the site design.  This is a technical meeting, but it is the best way to learn exactly where we are in the process.

Our Community Discussion Group is meeting on Sunday, June 7, 1:30 pm at Katie Tandon's Yoga Studio above Pat's Pizza at Bridge and Nutt Sts, Phoenixville.  We gather to learn more about each other by reading short articles on Cohousing.  We are reviewing our values for living together. All are welcome!