October 25, 2014

Modular Cottage Design

SIPSAs we move forward with our conceptual plans for the property we are developing, I am pursuing a design concept I have had for some time. We are designing a prefabricated home package using structural insulated panels (SIPs) for the walls and roof, and high quality energy efficient windows to complete the shell. The design process will be simple yet highly customizable for the completion of a small creative green built home.

b2.1Starting with a basic rectangle or square for the primary house component, we are designing add on modules for additional living space, expansion nooks and dormers, and creative entrances. The design process will be a simple procedure of choosing your primary component and add on choices. The next step is completion of architectural drawings, with any additional custom features, from which the SIPs will be fabricated complete with window and door openings for quick construction.

a1.1In addition to a turn key option, we will also be offering the house package with consultation services for an owner built home. Additionally the package will be available to construct on your lot wherever you chose to build.

Contact me for more information.

Echo Hills Cottages

We are excited!

Baker_photo1After a long wait, it has now been several weeks since we finalized the closing of 2 pieces of property in west Asheville. It is a beautiful 3 1/4 acre site, with an existing house, that we plan to develop into a small “intentional neighborhood” with 9 more house. We have started with preliminary design parameters for small green built homes, and are enthusiastically moving forward on many fronts.

b2.1The plan includes a cluster of 5 homes on the wooded section, leaving almost an acre of rolling wooded land in it’s natural state for a shared park-like area. Another 4 smaller homes will be clustered on a sunny hill, facing an open area that is perfect for a community garden. The existing house will serve as shared space for a variety of community oriented needs and interests.

We will be developing a cooperative oriented legal structure that provides personal ownership of an individual home and building site, along with common ownership of the rest. We plan to incorporate the tools we use for communication and decision making into our home owner agreements to nurture a culture of empathy and collaboration. See our other website, A CoCreative Path, for more information.

We hope to have our conceptual plans ready in May and to break ground on the first house this summer. The plans will provide parameters for creative and environmentally responsible design, with complete flexibility for personal needs and expression. I will be posting plan updates as they are completed.

If you would like to explore joining us on this journey (or know someone who would), contact us soon – there are only 9 building sites left :)  Stay tuned for project development – sign up at the right to be first to receive updates and for our occasional newsletter.

Shared Housing – a Win / Win Solution for Many

There is a growing interest in intentional community around the country, with a concentrated interest here in Asheville. The list of reasons are many, with mutual support right up at the top. Many people have realized for some time that our culture has, in many ways, lost a sense of community – next door neighbors often don’t even know each other. We also struggle with many physical, emotional, and spiritual needs that are exasperated by this loss of community. We struggle with finances, relationships, parenting, aging, etc. – most of all we want to know and be known.

The current social, economic, and environmental conditions in the world have put a spot light on some of these needs and brought an interest in community to the forefront of many peoples minds. At the same time, there is a growing inventory of large houses for sale with owners that are seriously looking for a solution to payments they cannot afford. Many of these houses can be renovated to provide a great balance of private and shared space. Many of these houses can also provide affordable rental and/or purchase options.

Glenway_smallAs we are working on other projects to help facilitate community building, we have started to focus some hands on attention to this opportunity. We are in the midst of transforming a 3500 sq.ft  house, in a great North Asheville neighborhood, into a home for five adults. This wonderful house is a near perfect canvas to co-create this win / win solution. It was easily transformed into four independent suites of 300 to 650 square feet, each with a full bath. It also has large amount of common space which includes a kitchen/dining/living area with fireplace, a great screened in porch, and potential studio / shop space. The house also has an owner that is excited about the opportunity to relieve the stress of  a deflated real estate market while meeting the needs of a great group of people.

To insure the best possible experience for everyone, we are establishing this household on a foundation that encourages healthy communication. We are beginning everything with the Blueprint of We - our relationship with the owner as well as the relationship between the residents. We will also be facilitating monthly meeting with the residents to encourage the consent based decision making of Dynamic Governance (sociocracy) and the principles of compassionate communication. Laurie and I will also be participating in this household – at least until our proposed cottage community project is up and running.

If you are interested in this type of community, contact us for more information or assistance in exploring other shared housing possibilities.