Re: A cohousing pattern language [21-37]
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Tue, 15 Mar 94 20:40:40 PST
Frank wrote about housing clusters

>37. House cluster**
>People will not feel comfortable in their houses unless a group of houses
>forms a cluster, with the public land between them jointly owned by all the
>Therefore: Arrange houses to form very rough, but identifiable clusters of
>8 to 12 households around some common land and paths. Arrange the clusters
>so that anyone can walk through them, without feeling like a trespasser.

One of the problems of doing cohousing is getting enough people 
involved (invested) to form a financial core group. One way to avoid 
this is to phase the development, so instead of doing 30 houses, you do 
twelve in the first phase and eighteen in a second phase.  Yet another 
refinement of this is the design cluster idea where you group 3-5 
houses together and design them as a group, with a smaller commons 
around them. In this way, you can phase your development nicely to meet 
growing membership.

This is one of the ideas Sharingwood is looking at for the design of 
our second phase.  The first 4 houses have people committed to buying 
them.  The development cost  of the entire phaseII project (planning, 
infrastructure, Road etc) is paid for by the first four fully purchased 
houses. (We charge $35,000 for each building lot).  The houses are then 
designed together to work as a cluster. They face each other across a 
commons and garden area.  Since we are doing 12 houses total there 
would be 3 clusters of 4 houses, all around a larger commons.  The idea 
is that when there is enough committed (invested) membership to do the 
next cluster, the houses get designed and built and the funds from the 
sale of the building lots goes to the development of the common shop/ 
garden and additions to the commonhouse.

Rob Sandelin
Sharingwood Cohousing

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