David Maurer recently participated in a collaborative design session for the future Balsawood Community, located on Chapel Hill Road in Spring Lake, North Carolina.  The session brought together various professionals and homeowners who share the goal of creating an affordable and sustainable neighborhood that will promote community interaction.

The session began with a presentation by David Maurer on the Cooke Street Development in Raleigh, NC as an example of the creation of an affordable and sustainable community. Cooke Street illustrates how an affordable community can be formed with layers of public space, including a common green way, front porches, and architectural consistency that promote neighborhood interaction while simultaneously incorporating passive solar and other energy efficient strategies.

The participants then collaborated to determine the appropriate land planning and housing designs that should define the Balsawood neighborhood.  Ultimately a variety of unit types were chosen, including one and two story single family homes  and townhouses to allow for a diverse group of homeownership.  The participants then determined which designs could be easily adapted for passive solar measures.  The final selection creates diversity for a natural market selection, while maintaining a consistency in style and details to create a cohesive community.