Common House Design Process
From: Zeke/Hallie/Jesse (zhollandblazenetme.net)
Date: Mon, 1 Jan 2001 19:36:40 -0700 (MST)
We at Two Echo Cohousing in Brunswick, Maine, are a "lot development" model
cohousing group.  We originally planned to pay for our Common House through
lot sales.  Currently, we have 17 households in residence, we have 6 lots
remaining for sale, and we don't want to wait until every last lot is sold
before we start the Common House.  We have raised enough money amongst
ourselves to begin the design process, with a reasonable assurance that we
will be able to start building next fall.

So we are ready to get started with Common House design.  We anticipate that
we face an extended and potentially challenging process -- trying to balance
needs and wants against the budget and other constraints, and reach
consensus on a design.  We would like to clearly define our process before
we begin, and we hope to be able to draw upon the experiences of other
communities to help us do so.

Here's some questions for other communities (especially other
lot-development communities) the answers to which would help us:
* Do you have a documented process that you can share with us (either
published by someone else, or documented yourselves as you went)?
* Did that process work well?  Would you follow it again?  What would you do
differently?
* What were the "hardest parts" of the process?  Do you think there are a
few key points that make the difference between "success" and "mistakes"?
* Since there is no longer a developer involved with our project, how would
you suggest we oversee the construction?
* And moving a step beyond process, can we take a look at your common house
design?  What do you like or dislike about it?

Thank you!
--Zeke Holland, of Two Echo Cohousing, where today was a magnificent day --
sunny blue sky, crisp clean cold air, pristine white snow everywhere, nice
cross-country tracks through the woods courtesy of those who get underway
earlier than my 7 year old and me.

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