A Berkeley Professor’s Tiny Backyard Cottage

When Professor Karen Chappel asked some students in UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design to design her backyard cottage, they came up with the structure you see above: a 450-square-foot cottage that’s net-zero energy and incorporates solar panels.

Continue to full article: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/a-berkeley-professors-tiny-hom-137002

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Little House Could Mean Big Environmental and Housing Gains

Politicians, environmentalists, academics, builders and the curious packed a tiny house and the yard surrounding it in West Berkeley Saturday to talk about what many of them said could be the next big thing for communities like El Cerrito.

Among those gathered were El Cerrito Mayor Ann Cheng, Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, state Senator Loni Hancock and Jeremy Madsen, the executive director of Greenbelt Alliance.

Continue to full article: http://elcerrito.patch.com/articles/little-house-could-mean-big-environmental-and-housing-gains

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City of Berkeley Guest House Ribbon Cutting by New Avenue

Over in Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates attended a ribbon cutting ceremony for a 420-square foot cottage in the backyard of a home on Delaware Street. What’s all the fuss about? One company thinks creating small, sustainable secondary units on private property is the alternative to creating unsustainable suburban sprawl. And Berkeley agrees.

Continue to full article: http://sf.curbed.com/archives/2011/01/07/tiny_houses.php

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A city looks for big solutions in little – very little – houses

On Saturday, Mayor Tom Bates will cut the ribbon on a new home on Delaware Street in Berkeley. It’s not every day a city leader takes the time to welcome a new dwelling into his fold, and this home is not big, nor particularly special; in fact it’s positively diminutive at just 420 sq ft, and can rightfully be described as a backyard cottage. So one might wonder why it warrants an “opening party” with dignitaries in attendance, sponsors — even a salsa band.

Continue to full article: http://www.berkeleyside.com/2011/01/07/a-city-looks-for-big-solutions-in-a-little-very-little-house/

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Clinton Global Initiative

When Kevin Casey proposed the idea of constructing homes which emit no carbon dioxide to a Design for Sustainable Communities course at University of California Berkeley, an impressive team of engineering and urban planning graduate students signed on to test the idea. After testing the business plan for financing and building second units, the team found that there were both regulatory and technological changes that made this a viable and meaningful business. After the class Casey had a well tested and research business plan, but no clients, no capital to push the idea forward. That’s where CGI U came in.

Continue to full article: http://www.cgiu.org/commitments/featured_commitments/Net_Zero_Homes.asp

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Greenbelt Alliance

Just one month after Greenbelt Alliance endorsed New Avenue, Inc.’s model for creating sustainable in-law homes, the company is nearing completion of its first in-law suite in Berkeley.

New Avenue uses an innovative development model that weaves small cottages and in-law suites into existing backyards throughout our communities. This vision for development aligns with our Grow Smart Bay Area goals, which calls a for 5% increase of in-law units in appropriate Bay Area neighborhoods.

Continue to full article: http://growsmartbayarea.org/gs_news/2010/10/a-new-avenue-for-development/

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Small Homes Make for Great (and Green) Neighbors

While traditional banks and builders spent 2008 trying to dig themselves out of a mess, Haas start-up New Avenue Inc. applied an innovative business model to sweeping legislative changes to create a new path for creating sustainable communities.

Continue to full article (PDF).

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