The success of an integrated design project requires that we hold formal charette meetings with the entire team on a regular basis. A recent meeting was held with the principal participants, the architect, civil engineer, sustainable building consultant, landscape architect and the owner. We held this meeting at Johnathan Alderson’s office in Wayne, PA. The term Charette has an interesting history dating from 19th century France. There, student architects in an effort to make the teacher’s hurry-up deadline would hitch a ride through the streets of Paris in the school cart (“en charrette”) to submit their work in time.
At this early stage of design, it is important to assure that whatever concept is proposed by the architect it meets the criteria for sustainability and other benchmarks dictated by the LEED program. As of this date, we are still uncertain how “green” we want to be (or afford) or whether we will seek a LEED or NHBA certification.
With the “approved” design schematic in hand, we set forth to clarify the key components of the project and clarify roles and responsibilities. The good news is that we’re all in sync with what needs to be done so that we can get all of the environmental, storm water and disturbance issues resolved to obtain a building permit and begin construction in the Spring of 2010.
Matthew Moger’s extraordinary hand-made scale model of the site with the proposed house enabled all of us on the team able to see exactly what the impact of our decisions would be and made our charette productive and fun.