Floating Houses an Option in the Red Zone

Kristina Hill – Floating options: Creative adaptation in cities

Thursday 20 July 2017, 6:00 – 7.30pm
The Piano, 156 Armagh Street

Doors, bar and coat check open from 5:00pm

Kristina Hill is Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, Environmental Planning and Urban Design at Berkeley.

Her current research focus is urban resilience in the changing global environment, particularly around climate change, sea level rise, and development to enhance a city’s ability to recover from disaster events.

Hill will discuss her recent work in the San Francisco Bay Area – a region that, like Christchurch, is challenged by a rising water table in a seismic zone.

She’ll share strategies for addressing these issues and describe recent engineering experiments used in geologic hazard areas in California.

How could Christchurch adapt to the challenges and opportunities presented by climate change? What new designs and responses might work for the red zone?

Watch a 25 minute YouTube video to learn more about Hill’s research.
Hybrid Edges: A Typology of Coastal Adaptation Strategies, June 2014(External link)

 

https://engage.regeneratechristchurch.nz/christchurch-conversations

Read more here

Minutes of the Viva Project AGM 10th July 2017 @ Pegasus Arms

Present:

Jane Quigley, Jurg Honger, Chris Freear, Rosemary Neave, Yvonne Pasea, Diana Moir, Pauline Wayman, Marney Ainsley, Geoff Ridley, Geoff Butcher, Lin Roberts, David Guthrey, Judith Shearer, Blair, Natalie

Apologies:

Cynthia Roberts, Bev Sheppard, Julie Grenville

Minutes of the last AGM 27th June 2016 were read and confirmed as a true and correct record with one amendment that Marney Ainsley was present, not an apology.

Moved – Rosemary Neave  Seconded – David Guthrey

Viva Report for year ended July 2017 was read by co convener Jurg Honger.

Moved that the report be received and placed in the minutes – Jurg Honger

Agreed

Treasurer’s report was presented by Rosemary.

Moved that the report be received – Rosemary Neave Seconded – Geoff Butcher

Agreed

It was noted that the loan money that was received some time ago is included in these accounts. Therefore there is a creditor that needs to be shown in next year’s accounts.

Nominations for Core Group

Lin Roberts                            Rosemary Neave                   Colin Muerk

Pauline Wayman                   Jurg Honger                           Jane Quigley

David Guthrey                       Bev Sheppard

Chris Freear                           Geoff Butcher

The nominations were accepted and endorsed unanimously by the meeting.

Nominations for Co-Convener

Jane Quigley  Jurg Honger

The nominations were accepted and endorsed unanimously by the meeting.

 

Nomination for Treasurer

Rosemary Neave

The nomination was accepted and endorsed unanimously by the meeting.

General Business

Marney asked that the monthly meetings be continued. She remarked on the importance of the meetings to maintain interest, generate networks and increase people’s awareness of the Viva project. It was agreed that this needs to be a priority.

Meeting Closed 6.20pm

 

 

Viva Agm 2017 – read all about it…

Here is Jurg’s report for this year’s AGM – a good summary of what we have done:

Viva Report – AGM – July 2017

Jürg: Welcome to this year’s Viva Project AGM. It is with much pleasure that we share a brief summary of Viva’s activities over the past year.

Viva! was formed 5½ years ago – as a result of the earthquakes, to influence sustainable & community-focused development in the re-build of Christchurch.

Our vision:

“To Create Vibrant Urban Villages, Innovative and Inspiring Examples of Sustainable Design and Connected Community”.

During this time we networked and connected with more people, learned much, and grown the Viva community to ~600 people. The community now includes people from all around New Zealand and the world, but of course mostly local people who don’t merely want to “fix Christchurch” – but rebuild it in a way that is better, more connected and resilient than before.

Throughout the year, we continued looking for land to start the development of our first inner city village, and although it got close a couple of times, we are still looking. In July/August last year there was an interesting piece of land on the corner of Madras and Kilmore streets for sale, which in the end unfortunately went to auction (very difficult for us to bid at an auction). In October, we put in an offer for land in Opawa (Bunyan Street), which unfortunately wasn’t accepted. This land is still for sale, however in our recent bus trip and subsequent workshop the community expressed a strong preference for a more central site.

The bus trip also took us to the old Bowling Club site in Salisbury Street, which is probably currently our most interesting inner city site! In the workshop following the bus trip we estimated how much a home, incl. land would likely cost in this location and very disappointingly, the prices would be outside the reach of many people in our community! Thanks to the great work from Geoff Butcher (our economist on the core team), Steven Wells (our QS) and most recently Mitchell Cole (an architect in our community) we now have some good models of working out land, design and construction costs, and resulting house prices. It is REALLY hard to make these numbers stack up and create affordable homes for our community! The most significant cost component are for the construction materials and labour, so we’re planning an in-depth workshop on this in the very near future. There must be a way!!

We also approached (again) the CCC, plus their commercial development arm – Development Christchurch Ltd (DCL) late last year, for any opportunities to collaborate. Their vision for Christchurch is at least partially aligned with ours, and they are expecting to take over significant land parcels from the CCC for development, however as their development manager Camia Young said herself: “Don’t hold your breath …”!

We had some very interesting networking meetings throughout the year. Highlights included Colin Meurk’s talk on landscaping in a co-housing environment, Nick Hubbard on the merits of building with Structural Insulated Panels or SIPs, and one of my favourites, the end of year quiz!

We explored the Nightingale Model, which might support us in the future with their interesting approach to financing and ownership. The model was developed by a group of Australian architects. There is now a local Christchurch group as well (not active?).

About 50 of you responded to our online survey about what you think is important for the Viva Project. Thank you for your thoughts – they are now guiding our direction.

All this would not be possible without the hard work by our core team members! Please can you all stand up now (there is … and …, etc., plus list the ones who couldn’t make it tonight).

Thank you all for your dedication and commitment. I particularly enjoy our early morning meetings at Black Betty’s and the friendship we now share! Without this, I for one would have given up by now! The other reason why we are still going, and going stronger than ever maybe is our powerhouse JANE! Her unwavering passion and drive has us all inspired to pursue our vision and get our damn first village built!

Thank you!

On behalf of the Viva community I also acknowledge the generous support from our professionals on the team – Karen Overend, Steven Wells, Mitchell Cole, and most recently Rob Churcher from Arcus.

 

We will need you all in the future!

And last but not least, to you people, the Viva! Community – thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your on-going commitment and belief in the aspirations of Viva! – You are The Viva Project – and together we are making a difference.

Jane Quigley and Jürg Hönger
Co-convenors The Viva! Project

Alternative housing delivery: Baugruppen

What is Baugruppen?

Permeable solitary blocks through to the River Spree create public access at Spreefeld. Andrea Kroth, Author provided

The Baugruppen model represents an innovative strategy for constructing new housing. Known in North America as co-housing, Baugruppen or joint-venture buildings in Germany, and l’habitat participatif or participatory housing in France, are resident-led housing design and development.

Baugruppen is an approach to developing housing where private owners collaboratively build affordable multifamily projects. It’s not quite the same as co-housing – some include common spaces and facilities (e.g. gardens, community rooms, roof terraces) but these are not necessarily incorporated. However, like co-housing, baugruppen incorporate a participatory planning process.

Multiple families get together and agree the design that suits everyone – these are usually multi-storey, multi-unit buildings (think apartments) rather than detached or semidetached housing. An alternative form is Baugemeinschaft, a form of cohousing led by an independent consultants-developer, often with an architectural background, have emerged as viable options as more Germans look to become homeowners.

How do baugruppen deliver affordability?

Apartment layouts at Ritter Strasse 50, initiated by ifau and Jesko Fezer with Heide and Von Beckerath, are highly individualised. Andrea Kroth, Author provided

Baugruppen are an affordable approach to housing because they are generally funded without developers (self-financed). Local professionals tell me that groups of individuals working collaboratively and without the developer can save 15 – 20% of housing costs (basically removing the development margin from the construction costs). Leaving owners to complete fitout themselves provides additional cost saving opportunities.

In Wilhelmsburg (Hamburg), we came across two quite different examples of baugruppen.

  1. The first was a mixed development, in partnership with a developer, where the front portion of the development was sold off to private owners and the rear portion owned by partners in the baugruppen.
  2. The second baugruppen development was quite different. Named Smart Price Houses, they were designed as a do-it-yourself development. The basic skeleton structure, staircase access and basic building connections were constructed for the co -owners. The design idea is Le Corbusier’s Dominio House. Individual owners then designed and completed the interior fit-out of their own units.
  3. In Berlin I went to a third baugruppen in Ritterstrasse where 19 households came together to design / build this attractive development. They reputedly saved 20% of construction cost by adopting industrial construction methods (for example, electrical conduit runs surface on walls) and selfmanaging the contract to avoid developer margin.

How Cities are supporting Baugruppen

At Urban Living 01, Abcarius and Burns Architecture Design created an operable facade to get around a ban of balconies. Andrea Kroth, Author provided

City support for baugruppen I met with Stattbau, a multi-disciplinary design practice which has a contract with the City of Berlin to provide facilitation services for those groups interested in participating in baugruppen developments. Similar services are offered in Munich and Hamburg.

This is an innovative and successful way to support groups who want to design and develop their own communities. With a lawyer and business manager on their team, Stattbau lead a robust process which supports groups through the orientation phase, the planning phase, the purchase of land / construction process and the occupation / residence and ongoing maintenance.

Over 8 years, Stattbau has facilitated 160 groups to build baugruppen. It’s fair to say that city governments in Germany have shaped and promoted this practice with policies that support self-organised, collaborative building. Take Tuebingen, for example. By the mid-90s, Tuebingen was beyond affordable for many residents.

The City purchased brownfields vacated by NATO in the southern part of town, and Alternative housing delivery: Baugruppen Page 3 held competitions to sell individual lots to baugruppen with the best concept. Baugruppen were required to allocate the ground floor for non-residential use, and set development to the block periphery with large areas set aside for semi-private courtyards.

Tuebingen’s approach resulted in costs 10-20% lower over typical developer models, with higher levels of diversity and ownership amongst younger families. The City of Hamburg undertakes to encourage and facilitate the development of baugruppen with a special department which has overseen and coordinated the building of 1800 developments over the last decade. Hamburg sets aside nearly 20% of suitable land specifically for baugruppen, and if there is competition for a lot between interested groups, the City looks at various criteria, including viability, concept originality, owner diversity, etc.

This pushes baugruppen in the planning stage to be very innovative –such as predominantly immigrants, or single parent households only. In Freiburg, the city council made a conscience decision that developmental rights in Vauban would be preferentially given to baugruppen over developers. The city and working group felt that prioritizing affordability (through collaboratively-built projects), would make it attractive and feasible financially for families to live there rather than suburbs.

Rather than bidding wars, lots were awarded to parties meeting criteria such as most diverse scheme, most ecologically sound, etc. Freiburg’s city council even provided facilitators to help a baugruppe procure legal and financial representation for their project. In terms of population density–at 5,300 inhabitants over 38 ha –Vauban is denser than over 95% of Seattle, yet it maintains a distinct character and ample open space. Baugruppen would certainly require New Zealanders to adopt a different approach but with the burgeoning interesting in community-led development, the time might be right. With suitable support to ensure success, clearly there are savings to be made. And with participation in design, future owners can choose what they want and how they want to live in a medium density setting.

The original story published here