Tag Archives: Construction



Cohousing Resources offers a wide variety of workshops and presentations for cohousing groups. Workshops range from an overview of cohousing to the specific steps needed to get your project built. Workshops include:

What is Cohousing?

An overview of cohousing including history, examples of projects and what makes cohousing communities work; includes a slideshow and answers frequently asked questions.

Free two hour presentation, plus expenses

Getting It Built Where You Live

This workshop includes the steps required to form a group and take your project from idea to land acquisition, from financing and construction to completion; this workshop is customized for your community. This workshop answers key questions such as:

  • How much will my house cost?
  • How do we use a budget?
  • How much money is needed when?
  • When can I move in?

You’ll leave this workshop with:

  • Membership and participation agreements
  • Customized budget for your project, in your location
  • Customized schedule for your situation
  • Customized cash flow

Weekend two day workshop $2500 plus expenses

Land Acquisition

No matter where you are, land is available. Whether urban, suburban, or rural, you can find land for your project even if it isn’t listed for sale. Locating the right site for your project is one of the first steps to building your community. Materials include site criteria and a customized site search map for your area.

One day workshop, $1000 plus expenses

Marketing and Membership

When it’s time for your group to grow, it’s time for the marketing workshop, which will guide you on how to find new members and integrate them into your existing group. This workshop will teach you how to market to prospective members, create marketing materials and a marketing plan.

You’ll have everything you need to get started by the end of the workshop.

One-day workshop: $1000 plus expenses

Moving Your Cohousing Project Forward

Feeling stuck? Hit a snag?

This workshop is what you need to get going again. Maybe you have a group but can’t find land. Do you have land but no financing? Have you started design without a project budget? This workshop will give you the kick-start you need to move forward efficiently, and effectively.

One-day workshop:  $1000 plus expenses

Project Feasibility

So you’ve tied up land and now you need to know if it will work for your project. What about zoning, permits, utilities, and parking requirements? How many units do you need to make it work economically? This workshop takes a step-by-step look at your project to ensure you’ve found the right property for your project.

One-day workshop: $1000 plus expenses

Financial Commitments

Workshop includes the steps of getting members’ commitment to buy and working with the bank to get the financing you need for your project. This workshop answers key questions such as:

  • How much will my house cost?
  • How do we use a budget?
  • How much money is needed when?
  • When can I move in?

You’ll leave this workshop with:

  • Membership and participation agreements
  • Customized budget for your project, in your location
  • Customized schedule for our situation
  • Customized cash flow

Two-day workshop – $2,000 plus expenses

Design Process

Our detailed workshop covers the design process from start to finish:

  • Language of design
  • Working with your design team
  • Design tracks
  • Goals for the site plan
  • Schematic design
  • Construction documents
  • Value engineering or cost reconciliation
  • Construction supervision
  • Design considerations include, but are not limited to:
  • Car-free zones
  • Pedestrian friendly
  • Ecovillage
  • Common house and
  • Community size
  • How design affects affordability

One-day workshop: $1000 plus expenses

Creating Affordable Cohousing

How to make your project work for your membership is an important component, especially if you want to have a more inclusive, mixed income community. Your workshop will include how to create your custom budget, cash flow and schedule. We research cost, timing and financing in your area to create a profile for your specific needs. You’ll learn how to keep your costs down and how to work with local, state and federal government agencies. This workshop covers grants and public funding as well as development and design strategies to create affordable cohousing.

One-day workshop: $1000 plus expenses

Custom Workshops and Events

Special events can be arranged to promote an individual group or cohousing in general. With a large selection of slides and a growing video collection of cohousing resources across North America, we provide public presentations, slide shows, and orientations tailored to meet the needs of your specific group.

Please let us know how we may assist you. Contact us for more information or a free consultation:

Phone: (206) 601-7802 • Email: cscotthanson@mac.com

Urban Cohousing Associates • PO Box 1288 • Langely, WA 98260


Books on Cohousing

The Essential Books

Cover of Cohousing HandbookCohousing Handbook: Building a Place for Community by Chris ScottHanson (Second edition 2004, with Kelly ScottHanson)

One of the earliest and most respected book on cohousing by the designer of the first cohousing communities in the United States. A hands-on guide to building cohousing, this practical manual will give you the basics you need to know to get your Cohousing group off the ground and built.

This book is a guide, a manual, and a source of comfort and inspiration for those who want to create their ideal community. Cohousing is our opportunity to build a better society, one neighborhood at a time.

The Cohousing Handbook covers every element that goes into the creation of a cohousing project including:

  • Group Processes
  • Construction
  • Finances and Budgets
  • Land Acquisition
  • Design Considerations
  • Permits and Approvals
  • Marketing and Membership
  • Working with Design and Development Professionals


Cover of Pocket Neighborhoods by Ross ChapinPocket Neighborhoods: Creating Small-Scale Community in a Large-Scale World by Ross Chapin, Architect.

Pocket Neighborhoods are small-scale neighborhoods where empty nesters single householders, and families can find friendship and a helping hands nearby, and where children have shirt-tail aunt and uncles across the yard. Stories of the people who live there, as well as the progressive planners, innovative architects, pioneering developers, craftspeople and gardeners who helped create them.

Presents the history of shift in the scale of communities over several generations to super-sized houses in seas of development and presents his solution to restore healthy, livable communities. Surveys the pocket neighborhood precursors in history and contemporary equivalents:  New Urban communities, affordable housing, houseboat communities, eco-neighborhoods, and pocket neighborhoods. Full discussion of cohousing in Denmark, America, Australia, and New Zealand. Senior cohousing. Retrofitting neighborhoods.  Highlights the essential principles of pocket neighborhood planning and design, and anecdotes about personal experiences. Photographs, drawings, illustrations and site plans, and a further resources .


Cover of Creating CohousingCreating Cohousing: Building Sustainable Communities by Kathryn McCamant and Charles Durrett.

The cohousing “bible” by Kathryn McCamant and Charles Durrett, award-winning architects who introduced the concept of cohousing to the United States in their first book Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves. Katy and Chuck have designed more than fifty cohousing communities in the United States and consulted on many more around the world. They founded The Cohousing Company: McCamant & Durrett Architects. They are credited in the Oxford English Dictionary for creating the word “cohousing” from “cooperative” and “housing,” in their 1988 book, Cohousing. (This book is out of print but worth a trip to ABE Books to find a used copy.)


Cover of Senior CohousingThe Senior Cohousing Handbook: A Community Approach to Independent Living, by Charles Durrett, 2nd Edition

The latest title in the essential readings on cohousing covers the fastest growing type of cohousing — communities for aging Baby-Boomers and others. These over-55 communities are often created next door to a more typical multigenerational cohousing community. These communities are built by the future residents and designed to meet their needs, not those households with children.

Senior cohousing is for the healthy, educated, and proactive adults who want to live in a social and environmentally vibrant community. Custom-built neighborhoods organized for health, longevity, and quality of life.

Senior Cohousing is a comprehensive guide to joining or creating a cohousing project. The author deals with all the psychological and logistical aspects of senior cohousing and addresses common concerns, fears, and misunderstandings. He emphasizes the many positive benefits of cohousing, including:

  • Better physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health
  • Friendships and accessible social contact
  • Safety and security
  • Affordability
  • Shared resources