Here is an overview of the process for building a cohousing development in Nelson, BC. Adapted from “How to Start a New Cohousing Community in Your Town” by McCamant & Durrett Architects.

Step 1: launch a grass roots organization

Done. the Nelson Land Group started meeting in the summer of 2010.

Step 2. Identify Potential Sites

Done. We have selected a fantastic site on Heddle road, at 6 mile on the North Shore of Kootenay Lake.

Step 3. Public Slide Presentation

Happened October 28th, 2011. We had a great turnout!

Step 4. Getting-It-Built Workshop

Happened October 29th – 30th, 2011. We sure learned a lot.

Step 5. Site Programming and Design Workshop

Happened December 1st – 3rd, 2012. We had 16 households attend! “The Site Programming Workshop” establishes the residents’ goals and criteria for the layout of their cohousing community. The end result is a preliminary site plan that shows the location of buildings, parking, gardens, play areas, and gathering areas and a ‘program’ that documents the group’s objectives and decisions.”

Step 6. Common House Programming and Design Workshop

March 2013. Establish the goals and priorities for the Common House, and the specific activities to take place there. Based on these goals the architect will produce a design that after amendments and consensus should fit the group “like a glove”.

Step 7. Private House Programming and Design Workshop

April, 2013. “Decide the private house sizes, types, budget, energy usage, and room-by-room requirements.”

Steps 8 – 10. Design Closure, Design Prioritization and Design Development Workshops

June 2013. Bringing the whole design together, prioritizing budget and materials selection.

Step 11. Site development

Approval process begins Summer, 2013. Initial site work scheduled for late 2013. Build the common house, shared facilities, and private houses starting Early 2014.

Step 12. Move in!

Planned for late 2014. Time to plant the gardens!

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