Before any project commences, The Building Cooperative team conducts a thorough needs assessment with community members. In the past, we have lived with the community for several months in order to form a true partnership. We spend most of our time listening.
We love working in teams of all cultures and professions because in mixing diverse backgrounds we discover new potential and gain in unforeseen ways. We believe that with more kinds of minds come more interesting results. We always begin with a need. Then:
- We discover, immersing ourselves in the context of a place and its people.
- We design, creating solutions that are impactful, smart, and beautiful.
- We build, leveraging the construction process for education and training.
- We stay, evaluating the impacts of the design long after the building is done.
Our methodology is circular not linear. With each iteration we connect new discoveries to existing knowledge, ensuring successful, holistic buildings that house the future.
teaching research methods
We research the impact of each project on our own, as well as in an Intro to Architecture class we teach at the high school level. In that class, students test whether the projects met certain outcomes for local community development. Students learn to assess community needs and collect evidence before proposing solutions.
We also use evidence-based design for the sustainability aspects of our affordable homes. We conduct simulations, computer models, and hygrothermal analysis to understand the energy demands and movement of heat and moisture through our homes. We also perform day-lighting analyses so we can design for passive and active solar and always conducted a robust survey of existing housing stock so that our homes take measures to improve indoor air quality.
A Building Cooperative team member conducting a construction site survey.