Re: community design
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 94 13:20 CST
shedrick coleman posted about the relationship between architect and 
cohousing group.

What I would add to his post  is the notion that the architect provides 
key professional insight into the consequences of the groups choices.  
I think many groups have lots of things they start off wanting, and 
IMHO a good architect offers experienced insight into what those things 
mean, and what happens when you choose one over the other.  What I have 
heard from groups who have been less than satisfied, is that they 
wished the architect would have told them, or known, what the 
consequences of their choices were.

 I wonder how many situations occur where  the architect does not 
understand the practical consequences of their designs.  One small 
personal example - the architect who designed my house called for 6 
foot 6 inch tall walls on the west side of my living room.  This made a 
non- standard roof pitch and would have required lots of cutting during 
construction.  The contractor advised me of this on the site, and we 
changed the wall to 8 foot,  a standard material length which resulted 
in a standard roof pitch which saved me about $500 in labor.  Not a big 
deal, but it pointed out that often architects are theorists, few have 
real hands on construction experience to know the consequence of their 
designs in terms of actual buildings.  I live with two contractors who 
complain about this all the time.

Might be a good balance to have both an architect and an experienced 
builder/contractor work out the final plan issues, or have a plan 
review by an experienced builder to find the gotchas in the design.

Rob Sandelin
Puget Sound Cohousing Network

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