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Frequently asked questions about construction costs. UPDATED

cost of design

Note: Since we originally put this together, the market in Seattle has only continued to get more competitive and prices are reflecting that. We have updated some of our base cost assumptions below to reflect what we are seeing in the office at the moment. 

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Backyard Cottage costs

"How much does a backyard cottage in Seattle cost?"

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Village Growth

After the phased development thinking, we believed it would be interesting to speculate on how the village might grow.  With the Agros land development model, land is purchased and living space is set aside with the assumption that everyone in the village will be farming.  At some point further into the future, there will be enough density and chance happenings to combine together for other occupations to develop.  How might that growth look?  What direction might the community decide is best for their long term development?  And more importantly, is there anything that we should think abou

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phased village development

While our plans and the rendering below show the full development of La Benedicion, there are many steps between then and now.  To help visualize the process of growth, we created a three phased development plan that starts with lot division, basic health block construction and play fields.  The play field location plants a seed in the collective memory of the village, connecting the space to a feeling of gathering and communion. 

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Village Layout: orientation and proximity

From Option A, we continued to develop and refine the design using more precise dimensioning and site data.  The village is split into two areas because the community preferred to have larger lots per house (Option A) instead of keeping all the lots clustered into one area (Option B).  In the site analysis, we saw that the steep slopes and agriculture infrastructure restricted the layout growth in Area A.  In response we placed the additional lots along the existing road to the west, creating Area B.   Don’t worry though—it’s only a five minute walk between the two areas.

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Village Layout: User based design

For the village layout of this project, we pulled strongly from the exercises and input we received on site in El Ojoche (now named La Benedicion.)  As we’re sure you read in the previous post the community had differing opinions on the relationship between civic buildings and their placement in the village layout.  There were also differences between the men and women in the proportion of the lot sizes. 

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Analyzing the data

After we completed our series of games and exercised with the community we were faced with a wonderful problem... we have a lot of information to dig through. We had SD cards full of pictures of lot diagrams. We had pages of notes and gigs of movies. Thankfully, we also had Chris.

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Community based design

Out of all the work we do, probably the most fun part is the community interaction. We believe passionately in making the community an integral part of the design process and try to involve as many stakeholders as possible throughout the project. While we have gotten to the point where it is almost second nature, we occasionally get asked why we do it and how….. So here is a quick rundown on the why and how with some examples of the process that we have been going through in Nicaragua.