From: Pat Coyle
Subject: Belize initiative: separate drawings for printing
Marian, I am sending separate one-page sections from the larger drawing by Ian Watson. These should be easier to print out individually.
He asked if I had seen the Katrina cottages that Habitat for Humanity did? Little, yet very functional. I believe they worked with the AIA and conducted some form of competition to narrow down the best designs. Their criteria probably included ease of shipping the units since most were built in cities around the country and then shipped to New Orleans which may or may not be useful criteria for you.
- For exterior doors where there is a porch with an overhand I would swing the doors out for better usage of interior space. They should be able to swing all the way back against the house.
- Another inexpensive idea is to use sliding doors like they used on old warehouses or barns. They are reappearing in lofts these days. For interior doors consider using pocket doors or barn sliding door idea. Pocket doors can be problematic when they jump off their track.
- Good use of a single wall for plumbing feeds.
- Are there any pre-fab or modular builders in Belize they would be interested in working with you to develop a little house that could be manufactured and trucked to locations throughout Belize? If they could find the right price point there may be a market for them. Would the government be interested in subsidizing something like this to promote home ownership and land development in Belize? (On this idea, the Spanish Lookout home builders come to mind. They construct, transport and set up houses. Are there other modular builders in Belize?)
As we discussed, we wanted to get some ideas on paper to discuss with local builders and see what makes sense. We know we won't build exactly what the drawing shows. I copied a number of folks who have had suggestions or expressed interest in the past in the context of the larger initiative at http://belizeopensource.org/.
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Marian and David, Marian, David and I talked about me sending him building plans so we can get started with the caretakers residence and next building for visitors on the property along with site improvements such as power and septic system.
My friend, Ian Watson, created the concept. We talked about it and we know it is not exactly what we will build. The idea was to get a small building plan concept down there so David can discuss it with the people he would have build them.
We want to identify ways to build them inexpensively, but still have them be nice.
The main thing we want for the first small buildings is to get them done quickly so we can get the caretaker presence established and also have them be something we will not regret later. While smaller, the kind of look we're thinking of would be similar to Barry Bowen's Chan Chich Lodge, Chaa Creek in Cayo, Program for Belize's La Milpa, Victor Tut's Crystal Paradise in Cayo, etc.
- We want to use thatch roof, so it would probably need to be a steeper slope.
- We like the decks with overhang.
- It may make sense to substitute more louvered window sections and use smaller doors, or have some of doors open out to the deck, maybe use sliding doors. However, with the small interior space, the idea is to open the doors and share space with the outside decks.
- We may want to put in a door to the bathroom from the deck.
- It might need to be a little bigger for the caretakers residence.
- We are flexible about materials of construction, again trying for a traditional Belizean look.
- After the caretakers residence and second building for visitors, we might build others without the bathroom and kitchen - but the idea would be to have a compatible look to them.