PlaceMakers Webinars

SmartCode Calibration Basics

Featuring Susan Henderson

$15 > Now available on-demand as a recorded session

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This webinar addresses how to calibrate a transect-based and form-based code to the particulars of a local environment. The first requirement for a powerful code is a meaningful vision.

Once the visioning is complete, the first coding steps are an assessment of existing conditions in three parts: synoptic survey, equivalency table and translation regulating plan. These three steps are done during Phase One of a local calibration, and are preferable to be completed in a workshop format, with input from Planning Staff, civic and business leaders, and the development community.

The calibration itself is most effective in a charrette format, to ensure the collective local wisdom is reflected in the character of the zoning code. Interactive sessions allow for transparent community planning, in which the metrics of the code can be developed and tested. These metrics include allocation of zones per pedestrian shed, base residential density, block size, thoroughfares, civic spaces, lot occupation, setbacks, building disposition, private frontages, building configuration, and building function. Illustrative plans should be developed to test the metrics of the form-based code against the collective community vision, as articulated in the comprehensive/general plan or master plan. Additionally, the particulars of legal implementation are calibrated to local, state and federal requirements, and finally the implementation strategy is selected to most expeditiously address the goals at hand.

Susan Henderson, a practicing architect and published author, has led numerous form-based coding efforts and related projects, including the inaugural Driehaus Form-Based Code Award winner, Leander, Texas – plus codes in Fitchburg, Wisconsin; Hutto, Texas; Kona, HawaiiEl Paso, Texas; Lawrence, Kansas; New Castle County, Delaware; Lauderhill, Florida; Bellevue, Kentucky; and Taos, New Mexico. As a CNU-accredited and LEED-AP, she brings an expertise in sustainability to FBC writing. She is a contributor to the SmartCode & Manual as well as author of the SmartCode Landacape Module, the Mississippi Renewal Forum: Architecture Report and Traditional Construction Patterns. Susan serves as a board member on the Transect Codes Council. She is a Principal of PlaceMakers, and Director of Design.