New Building / Workshop Team

New Building / Workshop Team Mandate

The workshop ad-hoc team will be managing the process leading to a new workshop building. It's job will be to organize information and feedback from the community, present proposals for decision, and manage execution of those decisions. Approval of this mandate does not automatically assume construction of the building is approved, this mandate is merely documenting how to proceed in the design and speccing off the building.


Team membership will be via self-selection. Whomever wishes to be on the team may join.


This team is being established to monitor, manage, and execute a long term complex project. Because of this, several processes must be laid out explicitly.

Due to the length and complexity of the project, it’s been suggested that this team be considered a ‘standing team’, with it’s own mailing list and team members. The minimum number of members on the team will be 3. The name is to be decided.

At various points in this process, decisions will be brought to the plenary for approval before continuing. The team will need in essence 2 power levels. One to bring choices to the plenary for decision, and another to execute on those decisions (this may be implicit in the plenary decision process.)


Following people have requested to be on the team.
* Ken Porter
* Rich Smith
* John Barrett
* Rich Kramer
* Dave Shevett
* Ben?

Decision process

Team decisions are made primarily via discussion in email. Due to the possibility of people missing meetings, if decisions are discussed during in-person meetings, the decision must be posted to the list for consensus by the rest of the team before being considered accepted, unless the entire team is present at the meeting, or has given a proxy.

When a decision is requested, the requestor will post to the list with the subject line “CONSENSUS:” with a summary in the subject, and then detail within the body of the message. The team may reply “green” to move the process quickly (if the entire team replies, the decision is accepted immediately). If a team member does not reply to the CONSENSUS posting within 96 hours, it’s taken as an accepted request.

For discussion of upcoming requests or decisions, a requestor should open the discussion on the list and allow members to chime in before pushing a CONSENSUS: message out. This allows the CONSENSUS: header to be used discreetly, and those filtering mail based on that header will not necessarily be bombarded with messages.

Before the plenary is presented with information, or before a Decision is brought for consensus, all the team members will, beforehand, agree that the decision and information being presented represents the team's consensus position.


During each stage of the process, the workshop team will present state of the project information to the community via mailings and updates given at the GM's. In addition, details on the team progress will be posted regularly on a centrally available medium (such as a wiki page or google doc) which the entire community will be able to read / review at any time.

Power Level
Because the team will be checking back in for approval to proceed on each step, the team is requesting Power Level 2 - bringing proposals to the plenary. After consensus is achieved, this team is responsible for executing on the decision (unless otherwise indicated in the proposal).

Phase 1 - Requirements and scope

This phase is purely information gathering and presentation. The team will hold several discussion circles, as well as gather personal input via mailing lists and private conversations to establish the scope and use case
for the building, ranging from "absolute requirements" up to "if I had a million dollars". This will include special purposes (must have a wood shop, etc) and extending to infrastructure requirements (must have heat,
must have running water, etc). Also included will be at least one open discussion during a GM.

The team will translate that feedback into a useful design document describing what the workshop's minimum requirements will be, what its purpose will be, what its capabilities will be, and what it will be used for. This document may also include ‘stretch goals’ for wish list items and approximations regarding priority, or those may be handled separately.

Decision: The plenary will be asked to approve that this document represents the community’s position on the scope of the workshop building, and approve moving to Phase 2.

Phase 2 - Design document with cost analysis

This phase will be the team taking the requirements document from Phase 1 and doing a rough cost analysis. There will be several levels presented, from the minimal needs up through all reasonable items on the wish list. This cost analysis will be relatively informal (ie, with ‘best guesses’ on professional costs, engineering costs, etc), and will be subject to revision once design is settled.

In addition, the team will work with trustees and other members of the community to present several possible financing models. Because acceptance of the design will heavily depend on cost impact, it’s important to have ‘real world’ financing details laid out.

Decision: The plenary will select which design and scope to use, and select a financing model.


At this point the ad-hoc team will be re-evaluated, and further mandate for architectural design, hiring contractors, and actual building the building will be determined."