Site Programming Workshop #1

pre-development site workshop for the E-Co-Neighbourhood Blue Mountains Group


This workshop is a short version of a full weekend design workshop for all members, which is usually done after the purchase of the site. This workshop goals and objectives were:
1. To come up with a conceptual site plan, that we will use as a reference for the Land Use Advice meeting with Council.
2. Have a cohesive proposal that the group can use for marketing and business plan.


Preliminary Design Brief/ Programming
Obtaining a design brief or design programming for the workshop is to some extant more important than the final output of the workshop, as the vision goals, objectives , principles and targets in the brief can have a profound and positive influence on the outcome of the workshop and the cohesiveness and quality of the planning and site masterplan.

The design brief is the set of instructions given to the design team which outlines specific requirements, and targets for the site, which are then being translated into a concrete design requirements. (in our case the brief is based on the vision mission statement and will further developed with more specifics on the dwelling and the common house).

At the workshop we  looked at issues of proximity of units to each other and the common house, location of common house, orientation of pedestrian way, parking, solar access, and typical cohousing site amenities. We will also broadly discuss the size of dwellings and type (town-houses, duplex, fourplex etc’).

In the first exercise the participants were divided into 2 groups, where each group had to come up with their option for the site, where various housing densities 8 -12-14 households had been explored, and the final outcome were presented to the group. The second exercise the groups were combined together to discuss the economical, environmental and social consequences of these layouts and agree on one one layout.


The Workshop outcomes were very successful, as the group was able to come up with a reasonable proposal  that well illustrates the group vision for site and their Cohousing community proposal .

Yours in Community


Cohousing in the Mountains

This is an invitation to attend Cohousing in the Mountains Project overview,  open meeting to be held Sunday 5th of may , where we will present the nuts and bolts of the project.
After 2 1/2 years of process of work with the Blue Mountains Group, we are now a step closer in realizing the vision of building a cohousing neighbourhood. Currently we are negotiating the purchase of a site in Hazelbrook BM minutes walk from the shops and the train station.

coming soon More on this project , process and development

“The E-Co-Neighbourhood Blue Mountains is inspired by the Cohousing model which is a form of collaborative housing, an intentional neighbourhood that offers residents a sense of community, while still maintaining their need of privacy. Cohousing communities consist of private, fully-equipped homes as well as extensive common amenities including a ‘Common House’, vegetable garden and recreational areas”.

The major benefits of our proposal are :
*Encouraging exemplar developments which demonstrates substantially greater sustainability than current best practice ( local controls and Basix)
*Adopting new methods to reduce private car use substantially, which can be more wildly replicated (car share, car pooling)
*Enabling local communities to create resident –led sustainable developments to meet local needs.
*Making best practice environmental construction more financially viable
*Encouraging cohousing and other approaches which enhance mutual support and wellbeing .
*Innovating new integrated approaches to reduce overall carbon footprint, (food, transport….)

Yours in community
Gilo Holtzman