Above: Loran Faudree sits in one of the small and energy-efficient condos he built at Iowa and Garfield streets for those looking to downsize and live in a more environmentally-friendly way. Top: An exterior view of some of the condos. - Jim Craven

Green and affordable housing makes a debut in Ashland

Responding to the market's demand for cheaper new housing — and to the planet's demand for wiser energy use — an Ashland developer has built seven condominiums using sustainable materials and efficient energy systems and offering them for $100,000 or more below the city's median sales price.

Developer and Realtor Loran Faudree said the Condominium Cottages at Garfield are designed for young singles, empty-nesters, retirees or single parents looking for a simple, scaled-down lifestyle.

"It's not built for families," he says. "It's for someone who wants to downsize, cut expenses and live with a lighter footprint on the planet."

Ranging from 600 to 1,000 square feet, the condos at Iowa and Garfield streets sell for $239,000 to $269,000. The median Ashland home in the first half of this year sold for $389,000.

They feature high-efficiency heating and air conditioning systems with zoned units in each room. They use near-silent heat pumps and 10-watt fluorescent lights in the ceiling. The walls are interlocking concrete forms that create a tight energy envelope.

These features cut the energy bill at least in half, Faudree says. The condos have no solar features and the roofs are standard framed construction.

"I have more people looking at these than at other new housing and it's because of the green features. People are getting it," he says.

Inside are 9-foot ceilings, granite kitchen counters, laminated hardwood floors, all-wool carpeting and nontoxic paint. There is a 100-square-foot storage unit in each condo. Appliances are high-efficiency and the washer and dryer are stacked in a closet.

Most building materials are synthetic and sustainable — Trex decks, natural Marmoleum bathroom floors, nontoxic cabinetry (no urea or formaldehyde) and fiber concrete siding.

Buyers own only the inside of the condos and pay dues to a homeowners association for landscaping and exterior painting. Faudree collects the garbage and recycles most of it, he says. Faudree believes his project will provide some relief for faculty and staff of nearby Southern Oregon University looking for homes in Ashland.

"The whole thing is for the budget-conscious person who wants a smaller space, who wants to consume less and pay less," he says.

John Darling is a freelance writer living in Ashland. E-mail him at

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