McCamant & Durrett Architects

A Full Service Architectural Firm

The Cohousing Company is a full-service architectural firm founded by Kathryn McCamant and Charles Durrett, the award-winning California architects credited with bringing the cohousing concept to the U.S. McCamant & Durrett Architects can save your cohousing group endless hassles, and wasted development money. Trust the leading experts who “wrote the book” on cohousing. Check out the list of cohousing communities we’ve worked with.

Architectural Services & Resources

McCamant & Durrett Architects offers workshops for cohousing groups to help determine the feasibility of a site, establish design priorities, build group consensus, determine what the community needs in a common house, and overall plan for project success. cohousing workshops

Workshop Presentations

The Definitive Senior Cohousing Presentation
Great for getting a group started near you. This slide show is a wonderful introduction to show healthy, educated, and proactive adults who want to live in a social and environmentally vibrant community just how to go about joining or creating a cohousing project. more info

Aging Successfully — Senior Cohousing Study Group 1 Guide
Geared directly to professionals and others interested in facilitating workshops with seniors to help them discover the realities and possibilities of aging in place. more info

An Open Letter to Colleagues

Form Job Letter 140307_Page_1 copy

Dear All,

I hope that this note finds you well.  Here at McCamant & Durrett Architects (MDA), we have weathered the economic storm of the last five years here in the U. S. and have successfully emerged.  We have a workload of a half-a-dozen projects of varying sizes, in housing, master planning, affordable housing, childcare centers, as well as our continued work in cohousing.

As a result we have several openings at our Nevada City Office: we are looking for a licensed architect, a draftsperson, and an architecture intern to start as soon as possible.  See positions description bellow.

Architect: MDA is looking to hire a full-time Architect with a minimum of three to five years experience, who has knowledge and experience in multi-family housing and mixed-use projects.  We use Vectorworks in our office, and Sketchup for 3D modeling. Experience in these software platforms is preferred (but luckily Vectorworks is easy to learn), along with the usual Adobe CS and MS Office products.

We are a small office these days, so whomever we hire will get to do some of everything.  Project management skills are a plus, along with a sense of humor and flexibility.  This is not a telecommuting position: we need someone who will be in our office five days a week.  We seek someone who would be happy living in this natural wonderland of Nevada County, close to skiing and climbing, hiking and world-class mountain biking, with a strong arts tradition and a buoyant music scene.  In addition to having extensive technical skills, and given our history of social responsibility, we seek someone who really cares.

I write this letter, in part, because we have found that there seems to be a shortage of people out there with this mid-level range of experience in architecture, because — I believe — many young people have left the profession between 2008 and 2012.  Meanwhile, the medieval aspects of our apprenticeship system hold far less appeal for millennials who have good technical skills.  You really have to love environmental design and architecture to make this career path work.  I am hoping you might be interested or that you know someone who is looking for work and whose qualifications would meet our needs.  Please, let your acquaintances and colleagues know.

Our work is award winning and highly acclaimed.  But that pales in comparison to the gratification we at MDA feel when walking through one of our communities or schools — incidentally, also a community.  The mutual regard, and conviviality are palpable.  The life between the buildings is what distinguishes our environments; “If it doesn’t work socially, why bother,” is a key tenet for our office.

Another of our key concerns is sustainability.  A typical cohousing unit in Nevada City used about minus $50 of electricity last year, and $100 worth of heat for the entire year, and that’s in the Lake Tahoe area.  One of our clients said that before they moved in to Nevada City Cohousing they spent over $100 a month in utilities, now that’s what they spend for an entire year.  Another client said recently that he has gone from purchasing 5 to 6 tanks of gas for his car per month prior to living in cohousing to less than one now that he lives in Wolf Creek Lodge Cohousing.  That’s cohousing and that’s sustainable.  We have been perfecting these practices long before LEED and we are extremely proud of our environments.

We are looking for a specific set of skills:

1) Technical competency.  Knows Type V construction, inside & out.

2) Knows and is not intimidated by the IBC, and all other building codes.

3) Licensed Architect or equivalent level of confidence, independence, and skills.

4) Vectorworks, Adobe CS (especially Photoshop & InDesign), MS Office, SketchUp.

5) Has considerable experience administrating architect responsibilities on construction sites.

6) Is 100% confident in his/her ability to coordinate consultants, such as structural, civil, acoustic, and mechanical engineers.

In essence, we are looking for an implementer, a maker of things (buildings) and environments.

Intern: We are looking for interns who have an architectural degree, or have significant architectural experience, and who have an interest in the cohousing concept and its practical application, or childcare design.  Our office is friendly and flexible, but there is always a lot of work to be done!

Interns make minimum wage for full-time work.  We’re looking for interns who can make a 6-month commitment. 

Draftsperson: BA in Architecture or considerable architectural drafting experience in drafting plans, elevations, and the rest (construction documents — including details).  We are a Mac office — Vectorworks is required, and luckily is easy to learn.)  May also be partially responsible for some office administration, project management and topical research.  Relies on instructions from supervising licensed architects (Charles Durrett and others) and pre-established guidelines to perform the functions of the job.

After six months of employment: health insurance and retirement plan are available.

I’ve always been a big fan of personal referrals, so finding someone this way rather than through Craigslist appeals to me.  Therefore, it would be great if you were interested; otherwise, I am seeking your suggestions.  If you know someone who meets these qualifications, please have them give me a call at 916-716-6721.  Thanks much for your consideration.



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