Construction begins on first cohabitation project in Nova Scotia

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A $ 12 million cohabitation project in Nova Scotia that has been in the works for a decade is one more step towards completion following a groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday.

About 30 people gathered at the Pearl Street site in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia for the event.

Treehouse Village is slated for completion by fall 2022 and will feature 30 private units, a community center and shared amenities on 15 acres of land. It claims to be the first cohabitation development in Atlantic Canada.

The project was designed by Cate and Leon de Vreede ten years ago, when they realized there was no cohabitation development in Nova Scotia or the region.

“So we thought if we wanted to live in a cohabitation and stay in Nova Scotia, we had to try to make that happen,” said Cate de Vreede.

According to de Vreede, cohabitation means that there are private houses on a property with common amenities.

In commemoration of the start of construction, the youngest members of Treehouse Village work together to plant a peach tree. (Shirley Robb)

The Treehouse Village project, like most similar projects in Canada, is legally classified as a condominium, but other legal models can be used for cohabitation, de Vreede said.

She said Treehouse Village’s core values ​​are “to live lightly on the land” and to live collectively as neighbors in comfortable and safe homes.

The houses in the community will be passive house certified, which means that they will have high degrees of energy efficiency.

De Vreede said the heating bill for each home should be around $ 100 per year.

In order to minimize the impact on the ecology of the area, de Vreede said most of the development will be clustered on five acres at one end of the complex and the remaining ten acres will be left in the forest.

The price range of units in the development range between $ 300,000 to $ 500,000. Only six of the 30 units are still available and they are all in the upper price range.

Treehouse Village will consist of multi-unit buildings, a common house and a workshop. (Treehouse Village)

Invested members include people from across Nova Scotia and Canada, and even as far away as the UK.

According to de Vreede, the cost of the units is comparable to that of other new construction in the region and any increase in premiums caused by the energy efficiency of the units is offset by lower energy costs.

De Vreede said that the fact that the development includes shared facilities, such as guest rooms and play areas, means that many buyers simply don’t need the larger units.

“Most people buy smaller houses because we put spare rooms in our shared house. So people don’t need that extra room to keep each other company,” she said. declared.

“We can share some of these things. And it’s an alternative to these patterns of consumption that we see that are really not sustainable.”

Member of the Treehouse Village team, which hosted the inaugural event in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia on Saturday. From left to right: Teona Bjork, Allyson Rowley, Becky Hogue, Meg Beliveau, Kathy Horton. (Shirley Robb)

De Vreede said she hopes Treehouse Village will help the concept of cohabitation gain traction in Nova Scotia.

“It’s all about choice,” she said.

“In fact, co-habitat disproportionately attracts introverts, which is sort of contrary to what many people might think, as there is such a clear line between private and common space. “


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