Archives

farmer kate visits soltvå!

Friday, February 21, 2014 - 2:43pm

Farmer Kate, owner of North Creek Community Farm stopped in on Saturday to share some food, stories and lots of fun info on how community shared agriculture works. It was fun and most importantly – delicious!! We are looking forward to our weekly bags of CSA goodies starting in June – You can sign up too! northcreekcommunityfarm.com

tour cozē at solhavn!

Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 2:05pm

Visit our leasing office at Solhavn any day of the week between 1 p.m. – 6 p.m, located just across the river at 815 North 2nd st.

solhavn showcasing new local artworks

Monday, January 20, 2014 - 4:43pm

Solhavn is proud to showcase new artworks from Highpoint Center for Printmaking.  Explore the artwork throughout Solhavn, and read the stories behind their creation:

Todd Norsten    Lisa Nankivil    Willie Cole    Carlos Amorales    Carter

hello soltvå

Wednesday, January 1, 2014 - 5:51pm

why sustainable housing?

Sunday, September 1, 2013 - 12:00pm

I first started dreaming about sustainable housing when I lived and worked in New Mexico after graduating from college. At that point my goal was to build a straw bale house in the Sandia Mountains: natural materials, very low inputs for heating and cooling, organic forms, collecting rainwater. I was kind of a hippy at that point… mountain biking, home brew, all so very koooool.

But while this vision was indeed cool, it could never have had the potential impact of building larger sustainable housing projects in the city. One of my favorite projects is a district in Stockholm, Sweden called Hammarby Sjöstad. This project has turned old brownfield sites into residential areas with parks and green space. New construction has achieved district wide reductions of up to 50% in energy use and water use compared to standard building techniques. Waste is thoroughly sorted for recycling.  Attractive public transit serves the area and bike paths help discourage the use of private cars. Building materials promote healthy living and use sustainable materials.

At Solhavn and in our other projects in Minneapolis, we have seen the opportunity to achieve similar or even better results. Our lighting systems are all LED. Energy use for heating and cooling is reduced through tighter insulation, low E windows, and sealing gaps in our framing and window systems. Superior air quality is achieved by use of low VOC paints, elimination of allergen collecting carpeting, and use of continuous ventilation. We have put in place a user-friendly single sort recycling and organics program that makes it easy to do the right thing with waste. Dual flush toilets, high efficiency faucets, and rain barrel irrigation lowers our use of water substantially. Solhavn is stitched into the urban transit fabric with easy access to light rail, bike trails, bus routes, and shared cars. We make it easy for residents to live sustainably.

Large urban housing projects are especially effective at promoting sustainability because they generally have a light footprint on the land and allow for walkability to jobs, entertainment, and fitness. They also require minimal infrastructure costs because they leverage existing connections to transit and utilities.

The North Loop is a great example of urban intelligence. Fully developed cultural destinations (Guthrie TheaterTarget Field, The Fine Line, all within a short jaunt) rub shoulders with nearby job centers like Downtown Minneapolis (TargetWells FargoValsparOlson, and hundreds of smaller companies). Shops and award-winning restaurants are literally steps out the back door (Bewiched, Bar La Grasa, the Loop Bar, Borough, to name a few). Residents can ride their bikes to work at the University of Minnesota, or across the river to the creative heart of the city in the Northeast Arts District.  Trails along the Mississippi River provide access to nature in all seasons and easy routes to daily shopping destinations.

Solhavn is a long way from my original vision for a sustainable straw bale house. But in so many ways it is much more successful at achieving the goal of allowing us all to tread more lightly on the earth and live more healthful lives.

Curt Gunsbury, Solhem Companies, Co-Developer: Solhem, Solhavn, Soltvå, & Cozē

why sustainable housing?

Sunday, September 1, 2013 - 12:00pm

I first started dreaming about sustainable housing when I lived and worked in New Mexico after graduating from college. At that point my goal was to build a straw bale house in the Sandia Mountains: natural materials, very low inputs for heating and cooling, organic forms, collecting rainwater. I was kind of a hippy at that point… mountain biking, home brew, all so very koooool.

But while this vision was indeed cool, it could never have had the potential impact of building larger sustainable housing projects in the city. One of my favorite projects is a district in Stockholm, Sweden called Hammarby Sjöstad. This project has turned old brownfield sites into residential areas with parks and green space. New construction has achieved district wide reductions of up to 50% in energy use and water use compared to standard building techniques. Waste is thoroughly sorted for recycling.  Attractive public transit serves the area and bike paths help discourage the use of private cars. Building materials promote healthy living and use sustainable materials.

At Solhavn and in our other projects in Minneapolis, we have seen the opportunity to achieve similar or even better results. Our lighting systems are all LED. Energy use for heating and cooling is reduced through tighter insulation, low E windows, and sealing gaps in our framing and window systems. Superior air quality is achieved by use of low VOC paints, elimination of allergen collecting carpeting, and use of continuous ventilation. We have put in place a user-friendly single sort recycling and organics program that makes it easy to do the right thing with waste. Dual flush toilets, high efficiency faucets, and rain barrel irrigation lowers our use of water substantially. Solhavn is stitched into the urban transit fabric with easy access to light rail, bike trails, bus routes, and shared cars. We make it easy for residents to live sustainably.

Large urban housing projects are especially effective at promoting sustainability because they generally have a light footprint on the land and allow for walkability to jobs, entertainment, and fitness. They also require minimal infrastructure costs because they leverage existing connections to transit and utilities.

The North Loop is a great example of urban intelligence. Fully developed cultural destinations (Guthrie TheaterTarget Field, The Fine Line, all within a short jaunt) rub shoulders with nearby job centers like Downtown Minneapolis (TargetWells FargoValsparOlson, and hundreds of smaller companies). Shops and award-winning restaurants are literally steps out the back door (Bewiched, Bar La Grasa, the Loop Bar, Borough, to name a few). Residents can ride their bikes to work at the University of Minnesota, or across the river to the creative heart of the city in the Northeast Arts District.  Trails along the Mississippi River provide access to nature in all seasons and easy routes to daily shopping destinations.

Solhavn is a long way from my original vision for a sustainable straw bale house. But in so many ways it is much more successful at achieving the goal of allowing us all to tread more lightly on the earth and live more healthful lives.

Curt Gunsbury, Solhem Companies, Co-Developer: Solhem, Solhavn, Soltvå, & Cozē