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The ‘Tesla of eco-villages’ is developing off-grid housing that produces its own food and power

If you move into a new neighbourhood being constructed outside of Amsterdam, your salad greens might come from the greenhouse attached to your home. Your eggs could be gathered from the village chicken coop, and your food waste would all get harvested for compost.

ReGen Villages is a startup real estate development company aiming to build small, self-sustaining residential communities around the world. The first one is expected to be completed in Almere, Netherlands in 2018.

 Unlike traditional subdivisions, ReGen villages would be ‘regenerative’ (hence the name), since they’d use resources in a closed loop.

“Regenerative means systems where the output of one system can actually be the input of another,” ReGen’s founder, James Ehrlich tells Business Insider.

In ReGen villages, household food waste is composted and fed to flies, which in turn feeds fish, which then fertilises aquaponic gardens (multi-layered systems that combine fish farming and hydroponic agriculture, with plant roots submerged in nutrient-rich solution rather than soil).

Those aquaponic farms grow produce for residents to eat, as do seasonal gardens, which are be fertilised by waste from livestock raised to feed residents. Rainwater is harvested and filtered for use in the farms and gardens, and on-site solar panels power the homes.

Though this kind of regenerative, self-sufficient neighbourhood might sound like a pipe dream, ReGen has already determined its first two sites.

Ehrlich says he expects to sign a memo of understanding for a plot of land in Lund, Sweden in the coming weeks – the agreement will outline the intent to purchase the land and set forth initial terms.

And ReGen’s first site in the Netherlands is currently undergoing archaeological testing to make sure the village won’t be built on top of any historic ruins.

Ehrlich expects to break ground there in the first quarter of 2017, begin construction by the end of the summer, and have the first 25 homes built by the end of the year.

Each completed village will house 100 families on about 50 acres. Each family’s house will have an attached greenhouse for growing personal crops, and the village’s communal farms and livestock will be managed and run by ReGen staff.

Individuals can pitch in their labour as a way to lower the monthly fees homeowners pay on top of their mortgages. (In the Almere community, Ehrlich expects that cost to be around $560.)

This article was originally published by Business Insider, where you can read it in full. 

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