|Re: common house costs||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Fred H. Olson (fholsoncohousing.org)|
|Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 15:22:58 -0700 (MST)|
Katie McCamant The CoHousing Company <katie [at] cohousingco.com> is the author of the message below but due to a problem it was posted by the Fred the list manager: fholson@cohousing org To get off cohousing-L, send email with UNSUBSCRIBE COHOUSING-L in the msg body to: listproc [at] cohousing.org Questions? email Fred - addr above -------------------- FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS -------------------- There has recently been some discussion on this list serve regarding the preliminary common house design we did for the Pleasant Hill Cohousing Group. I thought it might be helpful to clarify the Group¹s and our intent. We believe it is important from both an accessibility and basic programmatic view to put as many uses as feasible on the main level. We have found that, with a few exceptions such as guests rooms, when a room is moved off the main levelwhere it easy to pass by?-it gets significantly less use. All of the primary rooms in the Pleasant Hill common house design are on the main, "accessible" floor?the dining, kitchen, sitting area, laundry, arts & crafts, and kid¹s play rooms. Nevertheless, we often find there are opportunities for additional cost effective useable space in a common house on either a basement or second floor. In most cases, if an elevator was required to make use of these spaces, the group would have to forego them altogether because they simply don¹t have the budget. (2-3 story elevators which meet the codes for common houses typically cost $30,000 to $50,000.) For example, in the Pleasant Hill common house we wanted to include a cooling tower in order maximize ventilation and minimize the need for air conditioning. In addition, because the common house is the most important physical representation of the cooperative spirit of the community, we felt it should be a taller structure. The second story is relatively small (885 sf vs. 2950 sf for the main level) and is currently programmed to function as a teen hang out room and guest rooms or alternatively more storage or office space depending on community need. The other consideration was that this is a relatively tight urban infil site (32 units on 2.2. acres) but not so tight as to require housing over parking or higher than 2-story buildings which would require a elevator like Old Oakland. But there is limited space, and there isn¹t room for more common house on the ground floor, in addition to the greater cost of building one story vs two story. The group has discussed how they would accommodate people who cannot use stairs should they need to access any of the uses currently located on the second story. For instance, the arts and crafts room could be used as a teen room if there is a teenager in the community that can not go up stairs. And a guest who can¹ t go up stairs can be hosted by one of the families that has a bedroom on the ground floor. Jasmine also mentioned in her posting that we have called out rooms by a variety of generic uses. Through hard experience, this is something we have found eases the processing thru city bureaucracies. While we seem to have strong support for this project, our design plans will be review by a slew of agencies we may not ever get the opportunity to meet with (we submitted 22 sets of plans for review). Many of these people don¹t know anything about cohousing. So calling the dining room a great room or rec room helps avoid the misinterpretation that this is a commercial venture rather than a well used community building, analogous to other condominium "rec rooms". Misunderstandings about cohousing uses have added numerous extra costs to projects. We like to leave it to the community members to prioritize what the best use of their money is. I urge all of us to speak cautiously about partial or inaccurate information about any project, but specifically about any project that is in the site acquistion, planning approval and/or building department approval process. These early stages of development are very political with many decisions up for interpretation and not necessarily rational. When Jasmine's comments first came up on the list, the group's first concerns was whethermight this get to someone in one of the review agencies and make an already complicated process even more complicated. We hope this clarifies some of the issues that are taken into account during the design approval process. It is always a balance of how to best use limited funds and how much education and explanation of a group¹s intent will be useful and when is it best to avoid introducing to much information. Katie Kathryn M. McCamant, Principal Architect The CoHousing Company 1250 Addison Street #113 Berkeley, CA 94702 Tel 510-549-9980/Fax 510-549-2140 www.cohousingco.com
- RE: Common House costs, (continued)
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