The last stages of work are underway at Ecovillage on Ithaca’s West Hill off of Mecklenburg Road on Rachel Carson Way. Construction on the single-family homes in Ecovillage’s third neighborhood, “TREE” (Third Residential Ecovillage Experience, following its first two, FROG and SONG) has been complete for a little while now, but the 15-unit Common House has yet to be completed. The exterior has been finished, with attractive wood-frame balconies swaddling the building, but interior work (drywall boarding and painting, from the looks of it) is still taking place.
The 15 apartments range from 450 SF studios to 1,400 SF three bedroom units. Rental prices for the apartment units have not been posted. According to Ecovillage Executive Director Liz Walker, “The current goal is October 1st for completion. There will still be inspections after that, so it will be perhaps the end of October or November before people are able to move in.”
Construction is being handled by a local company, AquaZephyr, which received an award from the U.S. Dept. of Energy for a “zero energy ready” home constructed as part of TREE. The designs of the Common House and houses are the work of California architect Jerry Weisburd, with local firm STREAM Collaborative handling the permitting process and design tweaks after Weisburd’s retirement.