Self Made City, coordinated by Kristien Ring, andpublished at Jovis, represents a collection of almost 40 BAUGRUPPE projects built after 1989.
Baugruppe means “building group” in German (bauen – to build; Gruppe – group)
A Baugruppe is a group of people who have joined their financial resources and efforts to build an apartment building according to their desire and at a reasonable price. To make sure they will always be able to reach an agreement and to prevent deadlock situations, they lay down clear rules for the whole process, and they engage a project manager to take care of the organisation. They find a plot of land and put their financial resources together to purchase the plot and pay for the construction.
An architect translates their individual desires into a building design and when the construction is completed, the members of the group become owners of their respective apartments.
Ordinary apartments available on the market are usually built by property developers and their plan is determined primarily by the market demand. Apart from the constructions costs, the price of such apartments also includes the profit of the real estate developer. In a Baugruppe project, you are the developer yourself and you can choose interesting individual solutions that are not available on the real estate market. You can also set your own standards of the household’s equipment and the materials used. The price of a Baugruppe apartment is usually up to 25% lower than the price of a comparable new home built by a property developer.
Trust is not the only element vital to the success of a Baugruppe project. Sharing up-to-date information in a transparent way, laying down clear rules and having facilitated discussions helps overcome prejudice and create a basis for the final agreement.
The actual start of the project is when a plot of land is purchased. In some cases, one of the group members owns the land already from the very beginning but does not have enough money to finance the whole project. A Baugruppe project can also focus on renovating an older house or converting an unused building for co-housing purposes.
Moreover, you can use the Baugruppe model to build on sites that are, for any reason, complicated and, therefore, unattractive for real estate developers. Municipalities and municipal districts may support Baugruppe projects to stimulate housing development in selected areas. The projects can be supported in several ways – by providing consultations and promoting this type of housing, but also by granting options, i.e. by allowing people to make a “reservation” for a later purchase of a specific plot. Such an arrangement gives the future buyers enough time to form a group and secure the project financing