Seeking stories about common house development processes
From: Laura Beck (
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 2003 12:00:04 -0600 (MDT)

> I am writing from the second neighborhood group (SoNG) at Ecovillage at 
> Ithaca.  We are in early stages of creatively envisioning our future common 
> house.  Soon, however, we will be getting more into the nitty gritty of the 
> schematic development process, and we are seeking stories from  other 
> communities about how they structured a CH development process that is highly 
> inclusive and collaborative, yet very efficient and effective.  Note that we 
> are doing this without an
> architect, as we have people in the group with the appropriate skills.  Just 
> a little background on where we are with this:

 -We (the SoNG Common House Design Ctte.) have created a four part creative 
envisioning process that has allowed us, as a group, to start big and vast in 
our thinking, eventually whittling toward more specific descriptors and 
expectations.  This part of the process most directly incorporates large group 
thinking.  We are halfway through this process.

- We have created a draft timeline detailing all of the steps from the 
envisioning process to the creation of construction drawings and permit 
acquisition, and everything in between.

-Up until this point, the Common House Design Ctte. (CHDC) has focused on 
bigger picture process issues around getting development of our common house 
off the ground.  Once the Envisioning Process comes to a close, we plan to 
create a sub-committee that has a specific directive to create schematics.  The 
point of the focused sub-committee is to get others involved in the process, 
who want only to work on schematics creation and leave the other meta issues to 
the CHDC.
Members of the CHDC  can choose to participate in the nitty gritties of 
schematic development and join this sub-committee.  Other community members 
will be invited to participate in the work of this sub-committee.  Remaining 
members of the CHDC will participate in more of a 'big picture' watch dog 
capacity, making sure that the design sub-committee stays true to the results 
of the large group envisioning process, as well as ensure that communication 
between the large group
and this design sub-committee remains clear and constructive.

- -This design sub-committee will take the results of the group's envisioning 
process and create specific guidelines.  These guidelines will be the 
foundation from which the design sub-committee will create draft schematics.  
There will be three opportunities during the schematics creation process for 
the group to offer feedback.

In closing, I'll say that we've been our own developers for our whole project, 
and while it's been rewarding, it hasn't been easy on the group.  We're hoping 
to create a CH design process that is empowering, inspiring, and frankly, 
healing after the long process of getting our homes built.  So, we're hoping to 
pick your brains about creative ways to reach our goal.

Thanks in advance,

Laura Beck


Cohousing-L mailing list
Cohousing-L [at]  Unsubscribe  and other info:

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.