Building groups involve a collective of prospective owner-occupiers coming together to have input into the design of a development. Not only do future residents have more say in how their future house will look, but they have a chance to get to know their future neighbours early in the process.
Image courtesy of Nightingale 1
What is it?
Building groups involve a collective of prospective owner-occupiers coming together to have input into the design of a development. There are a number of ways this might occur, ranging from groups of friends coming together to develop, to strangers being brought together by an architect or developer who is facilitating a development.
Who is it for?
This type of housing is relevant to people who are looking to own—rather than rent—a dwelling, and who would like to have the opportunity to have input into its design. Building groups provide opportunities to deliver more affordable housing by putting prospective residents in control of the design process. By identifying essentials, electing to share certain facilities, and eliminating unnecessary or inessential design features, prospective owners can contribute to the design of an apartment that meets their needs—rather than the expectations of the market—helping to deliver more affordable dwellings.
What makes it collaborative?
In order to design more affordable housing, the prospective residents work together (in a process usually facilitated by a designer or architect) to identify a shared vision for their dwellings. This is an important distinction—building groups should not be confused with custom-designed apartments. Rather, the groups provide opportunities for residents to collaboratively develop a vision for their homes that eliminates selected non-essential design features and that identifies opportunities for sharing resources and facilities in order to bring down the cost of housing. Shared facilities will likely vary from one development to another, but might include shared laundries, drying areas, or involve the inclusion of a car share facility to reduce the requirement for parking spaces.