Re: RFPs and developers
From: David Heimann (
Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2007 17:10:34 -0800 (PST)

Hi Tom,

I've worked in my time with issuing RFPs and with software development projects, and would say that obtaining something via an RFP is similar to developing a software product by means of the "waterfall model", where the requirements are set in stone at the beginning and the software developers build in response to them. The waterfall model and RFPs are similar in that each works well in producing a generic product that is neither especially new or complex. For products that are in fact new or complex, however (and likely most cohousing projects, as constrated to traditional real estate development projects, are new and/or complex), this freezing of requirments very early in the process may not work very well. What would work better is a process that can agilely respond to changes in requirements as development goes forward. There is a process in software development that has gained significant currency in recent years called the agile software development process. A major feature is that the customer is strongly involved in the development so that the eventual product can adapt to changes in the customer's requirements as things proceed. You can do a search on "agile software development" for further information.

        All the best!


Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2007 11:04:48 -0500
From: Tom Hammer <thammer302 [at]>
Subject: [C-L]_ RFPs and developers
To: cohousing-l [at]
Cc: Tom Hammer <thammer302 [at]>
Message-ID: <CC12678B-1FAF-4DFC-8EC8-EC96530A660C [at]>
Content-Type: text/plain;       charset=US-ASCII;       format=flowed;  

Hi All,

We have 3 potential developers interested in partnering with us, and
we are considering the RFP model for choosing one.  Below are some
thoughts we  have.

Have any groups who have used developers or are currently working with
developers used a Request for Proposals (RFP)?

We are also not sure what questions to ask in some of the sections
below and could use help there, too:

- Statement of our Vision
- Statement of our Goals (clustered, green, 30-40 units,
multi-generational/income, etc etc)
- Financial Arrangements
- Timeline
- Accountability
- Partnering
- Marketing
- Design Sessions (Charettes)
- Responsibilities
- Subcontracted resources (how are they selected, and can we make
- Green and its influence on design. Experience?
- Co-housing and its influence on design. Experience?
- Compensation for Sweat Equity Hours.

Many thanks for any help you can give us on this.

Tom Hammer
for Concord Village
southern Chester County, PA, where we are putting in a bid on some
land within walking distance of a small town.

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