architects and developers
From: Racheli Gai (
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 08:31:13 -0700 (MST)
I live in Sonora Cohousing, Tucson.
IMO, the major thing the developer brought to us is sources
of financing.  I can't see how we could have brought our
project to fruition otherwise.
In terms of expertise: some of the advice we got was good,
and some not so good...  I keep wishing we had a REALLY GOOD
local architect (not the "affordable" one chosen).  Every time my house
overheats because of the shape/size/location of my South Windows (and the
lack of a sufficient overhang) - this thought comes to mind.
Using a permaculture consultant (both to comment/advise on architectural
plans as well on site/land use) is something I highly recommend.


>Karin Landsberg wrote:
>Any input would be helpful! Also, I am particularly curious
>> to find out the reasons groups have chosen to go with local architects 
>> and developers or ones who are more familiar with the particulars of 
>> creating cohousing.
>I am writing from the perspective of an architect, not a co-housing 
>group, so please take my comments in that light.  I do not have a 
>particular opinion for or against local architects, but here is a piece 
>of information for you to put into the mix when you are making your 
>decision.  Part of an architect's role is to understand all aspects of 
>the site and local conditions (physical & non-physical) before 
>designing, and then during construction the architect is usually obliged 
>by law to inspect construction (every 2 weeks is standard, although this 
>varies depending on the project)and often must write and stamp a 
>Certification letter to local authorities that the project has been 
>constructed as per the stamped approved plans (the plans upon which the 
>building permit is based)and as per the Building Code.  You should find 
>out right away what your local authorities require in this regard.  An 
>out of town architect must then add travel time and costs to his fees. 
>Some simple calculations (plane fares, accommodation, hourly rates etc.) 
>will show that these costs could become significant.  Sometimes an out 
>of town architect will enter a 'joint venture' with a local architect to 
>minimize these costs.  But then you are dealing with 2 architects, and 
>the questions arise-'which one is legally liable for what aspect of the 
>project.  If there is a problem, whose responsibility is it?   If you 
>want an ask to a question, who do you ask? etc.
>As I said, I'm not a proponent of one approach or the other, but these 
>are some things to consider.  Hope it helps a little, and good luck!!
>James Kacki

racheli [at] (Racheli Gai)

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