Re: Design without cohousing expertise
From: Marya S. Tipton (
Date: Tue, 1 Feb 2000 22:27:39 -0700 (MST)
We here at Hundredfold Farm have been working with Heartbeat Cities, a 
construction management and consulting firm. Some of you may know them from
the eastern Cohousing conferences. It has been worth all the investment! As
far as design is concerned, we set our goals and priorities as a group, and
they advise us how to best achieve them. Their expertise has lended a lot of
efficiency and taken much of the guesswork out of the whole process, giving
us more time to focus on the spirit of community building. (But don't get me
wrong, we still do A LOT of work!) One person in our group estimates that
Heartbeat Cities' help has cut our project timeline in half.
I strongly suggest hiring a constuction manager and financial consultant,
preferably from the same outfit. Most importantly, someone who knows how to
work with a group. Finances can cause a lot of tension, and it is wonderful
to have someone working with us who knows how to talk money and break it
into bite-size pieces for us. It also helps to have someone who knows how to
talk to bankers in terms that are familiar to them. (And who dresses like
them! You should get a load of John's suits!) Having an objective "outsider"
takes some of the heat off the group as well. I couldn't imagine trying to
decide who can qualify financially and who can't. That would be an awful
Based on our experience, I strongly suggest working with some sort of
construction management team -- someone who knows the principles of
cohousing and group process.


Marya Tipton
Hundredfold Farm
Orrtanna, PA
A Place to Grow!
Visit our website at

>From: Larry  Landrum <llandrum [at]>
>To: Multiple recipients of list <cohousing-l [at]>
>Subject: Re: Design without cohousing expertise
>Date: Wed, Feb 2, 2000, 4:14 AM

> I would also love to hear these responses, please reply to the whole list.
> we are actively debating this isue right now.
> At 08:23 AM 2/1/00 -0600, Ann Zabaldo wrote:
>>I'd love to hear these responses -- please include me in your response if
>>you don't post to the whole list.  This could be a fascinating thread!  Ann
>>----- Original Message -----
>>From: "Lydia & Ray Ducharme" <ducharm1 [at]>
>>To: "Multiple recipients of list" <cohousing-l [at]>
>>Sent: Monday, January 31, 2000 11:12 PM
>>Subject: Design without cohousing expertise
>>> Hi all,
>>> We are trying to decide if we should hire cohousing design experts to
>>> with our design.  We have a very good local architect who has his Masters
>>> cohousing.
>>> What we'd like to know is for those groups that did not hire cohousing
>>> expertise, how do you feel about that decision, in retrospect.
>>> Thanks very much for taking the time to's much
>>> Lydia
>>> WholeLife Housing
>>> Calgary, Canada
>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>> From: Raines Cohen <coho-L [at]>
>>> To: Multiple recipients of list <cohousing-l [at]>
>>> Sent: Thursday, January 13, 2000 11:14 AM
>>> Subject: Re: Cohousing ,Class distinctions and banks
>>> > Catherine Harper <tylik [at]> wrote on 1/10/00 9:13 AM:
>>> >
>>> > >> Some cohousing communities, such as the one I live in, have rental
>>> > >> spaces, but the rentals exist and are controlled by the home owners.
>>> > >
>>> > >I was just reading about the...  Danish, I think, community that
>>> consisted
>>> > >of half goverment subsidized rental units and half owned units.  I keep
>>> on
>>> > >hearing about groups in this country that are trying for something
>>> > >those lines, but less about ones that succeed.  Shall I assume that the
>>> > >outcomes are not for the most part encouraging?
>>> >
>>> > Note that the list is dominated by groups of all types that are trying
>>> > do things, in the early stage...  most groups that are later in the
>>> > development process are so focussed/overwhelmed/exhausted that they tend
>>> > not to post as much, and those that are moved in (i.e. have succeeded)
>>> > don't care as much, have to deal with daily community life, etc. So keep
>>> > in mind that what you see here is not a fully representative sample of
>>> > what's out there, in progress and done.
>>> >
>>> > Old Oakland CoHousing is part of a project (Swan's Market) that includes
>>> > subsidized rentals, but for a variety of legal, financial and
>>> > complexity-management reasons the rental units are not technically part
>>> > of the CoHousing project. But we were able, despite value engineering,
>>> > preserve some elements that encourage interaction and shared space
>>> > (effectively, a common backyard after hours) in this tight-packed urban
>>> > environment. And we do intend to get to know our neighbors well enough
>>> > invite some to join some common meals or perhaps an affiliate/associate
>>> > sort of membership.
>>> >
>>> > Raines
>>> >
>>> > Raines Cohen <coho-L [at]> <>
>>> > Recovering from Macworld Expo this week.
>>> >
>>> >   Member, Old Oakland [CA] Cohousing at Swan's Market
>>> > Where we've got rates locked and are finalizing mortgage-loan details.
>>> >
>>> >   and Member, East Bay Cohousing [no site yet] <>
>>> > Which approved a budget without a TCN membership - can people help me
>>> > convince 'em to join?
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.